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Palestinians Abandon UN Security Council Resolution

Palestinians have decided to abandon, for now, an attempt to get the United Nations Security Council to vote on a resolution on Middle East violence.

The proposed resolution would have criticized Israel for a number of things including settlements in the occupied territories, the restrictions on Palestinian movements and the Israeli control of Orient House, the Palestinian office in Jerusalem. The resolution also provided for the establishment of an international monitoring mechanism to create what was called a "better situation" on the ground.

But the United States said the resolution was unbalanced and unworkable and vowed to oppose it in every way possible. The United States thus signaled it would veto the resolution had it received the required nine votes in the Security Council. The United States did just that to a similar resolution last March.

The head of the Palestine Observer Mission at the United Nations, Nasser Al-Kidwa, told reporters that, under the circumstances, it would be a waste of time to pursue the matter further. "It has now become obvious that a vote in the Security Council on our draft resolution will achieve no better a result than the vote which took place in March," he said.

However, Mr. Al-Kidwa said Palestinians are not giving up on the Security Council and may come back to the Council for a reconsideration at some time in the future.

The Palestinian representative said he has no interest in a proposal by Britain and Norway to issue an official statement on Middle East violence by the president of the Security Council. The statement would have represented a consensus of all 15 Council members. Diplomats say it is now unlikely the Council will pursue the idea of a presidential statement.