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Middle East News
Palestinians Seek U.N. Help in Resolving Conflict
From the Wall Street Journal of Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:21:12 EST

UNITED NATIONS—Jordan has submitted a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council on behalf of Palestinians that calls for the end of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory and a comprehensive solution to the conflict leading to a state within a year.

Diplomats cautioned that weeks, if not months, of negotiations on the resolution are ahead. According to the draft, negotiations would be based on the June 1967 borders with “limited, agreed land swaps” and a third-party security presence that would “guarantee and respect” the sovereignty of a Palestinian state.

Israel has insisted that any settlement would include deployment of its own troops on the West Bank border with Jordan. The third party might be U.N. peacekeepers, but the resolution doesn't spell that out.

The resolution calls for “a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967.” It would establish “two independent, democratic and prosperous states,” Israel and “a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine” living peacefully within “mutually and internationally recognized borders.”

The withdrawal of Israeli security forces from the West Bank would need to be completed by the end of 2017, according to the draft. It calls for Jerusalem to be the “shared capital” and asks for other agreements, including on water resources.

It also says it is imperative to solve the Palestinian refugee question on the basis of a 1948 General Assembly resolution calling for them to be allowed to return to their homes. Israel has steadfastly opposed any return of Palestinians to Israeli territory.

A senior Western diplomat said “a lot of work” remains to be done within the Security Council to negotiate a final draft that would bring “consensus,” namely no veto by the U.S.

Israel reacted sharply to the draft proposal calling it a “gimmick” in a foreign ministry statement.

“President Mahmoud Abbas is adopting measures whose sole aim is to attack Israel, with no benefit for the Palestinians. On the contrary, they can only further exacerbate the conflict and worsen the situation, and will not advance any solution because without Israel’s agreement, nothing will change.”

—Nicholas Casey contributed to this article.

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