The UN Security Council rejected a Palestinian resolution demanding Israel withdraw from disputed territories within three years on Tuesday. The resolution failed to get the minimum nine “yes” votes in the Security Council. It received eight “yes” votes, two “no” votes — including one from the United States — and five abstentions.
The failed resolution would have affirmed the urgent need to achieve “a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict within 12 months and set a Dec. 31, 2017 deadline for Israel’s occupation to end.
Also it called for an independent state of Palestine to be established within the 1967 Mideast borders — before Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — and demanded “a just solution” to all other outstanding issues, including Palestinian refugees, prisoners in Israeli jails and water.
The US Israel’s closest ally, reiterated its opposition to the draft resolution earlier Tuesday. It had insisted on a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, not an imposed timetable.
Secretary of State John Kerry urged in December against anything that interferes or “might be perceived as interfering” in Israeli elections planned for March. The priorities, he said, should be halting growing Israeli-Palestinian violence and creating conditions for an eventual resumption in peace talks.
“We all know the risk of escalation. It’s constant and it’s real. And that is why it is imperative to lower the temperature, end the tension, so that we have an opportunity to find a path that Israelis and Palestinians both want so desperately,” Kerry said.
The Obama administration had tamped down speculation that the U.S. might consider sanctions on Israel, but it has made no secret of its objections to certain settlement expansions in territory the Palestinians want for a future state.