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Abbas Plans to Re-submit Statehood Bid to UNSC

  • Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah Jan. 4, 2015.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah Jan. 4, 2015.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday he was discussing with Jordan plans to resubmit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that failed to win enough votes last week.

Jordan remains a member of the Security Council while several other countries with revolving membership were replaced over the New Year.

The Palestinians hope these states will be more sympathetic to their resolution demanding an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and independence by 2017, although the veto-wielding United States would be all but certain to vote 'No' again, as it did on December 30.

Speaking at a cultural conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of self-rule government, Abbas said there would be no let up on the Palestinians' effort to gain membership.

“We didn't fail. The U.N. Security Council failed us. We'll go again to the Security Council. Why not? Perhaps after a week. We are studying it and we will study this with our allies and especially Jordan; because they are close to us and they care about us. You all know the historical relationship (with Jordan) but also Jordan is a member of the U.N. Security Council. We will discuss with Jordan, to submit the resolution again, a third time or even a fourth time. We will not give up until the Security Council gives us admission,” Abbas said.

In the U.N. vote on Tuesday, the Palestinian draft received eight votes in favor, including France, Russia and China, two against and five abstentions, among them Britain. Australia joined the United States in voting against the measure.

But any resubmission would face almost certain failure.

The U.S. has veto power as one of the council's five permanent members and has pledged to block Abbas's plan, describing it as one-sided and unproductive.

Abbas signed on to 20 international conventions the next day, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, giving the court jurisdiction over crimes committed on Palestinian lands and opening up an unprecedented confrontation between the veteran peace negotiator and Israel.

In retaliation for the move to the ICC, Israel announced on Saturday that it would withhold 500 million shekels ($125 million) in monthly tax funds that it collects on the Palestinians' behalf, in a blow to Abbas's cash-strapped government.

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