UN Security Council to Vote on PA Bid Tonight

Jordan says UN to vote on unilateral demand for recognition and Israeli withdrawals, after PA FM said submission would wait till next year.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

UN Security Council
UN Security Council

The UN Security Council will vote later Tuesday on a draft resolution from the Palestinian Authority (PA) unilaterally demanding recognition as a state and Israeli withdrawals, Jordan's ambassador and diplomats said.

"We have decided that we are going to pass to a vote at the Security Council on the resolution," Jordanian Ambassador Dina Kawar told reporters, according to AFP.

Diplomats said it was unlikely that the resolution - which will be voted on at 10 p.m. GMT - would garner the nine votes necessary for adoption - a scenario that would allow the United States to avoid resorting to its veto power.

A US veto risks angering key Arab allies, including partners in the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

PA envoys drafted on Monday a more toughly-worded version of the resolution after meeting Arab ambassadors at UN headquarters for about two hours.

The updated text contains new provisions on declaring eastern Jerusalem the capital of a Palestinian state, settling the issue of terrorist prisoner releases and halting Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke stated on Tuesday that the US opposes the PA bid, noting "there are a number of countries that have indicated they cannot support this resolution."

"Even among countries that are longstanding supporters of the Palestinians and that have indicated they would vote in favor of the resolution, many of them have also acknowledged that it is an unconstructive and poorly timed resolution," added Rathke.

Britain's UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant also voiced his country's disapproval of the proposed resolution, telling reporters the UK would notsupport it - but not indicating whether that meant it would use its UNSC veto or simply abstain.

"There's some difficulties with the text, particularly language on time scales, new language on refugees. So I think we would have some difficulties," he told reporters.

The Tuesday vote comes as something of a surprise after PA foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki indicated on Monday that the vote would be postponed until after the new year, after the vote was put off last Friday and again on Monday.

The resolution demands UN recognition of the PA as the "state of Palestine," as well as Israeli withdrawals from eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria by 2017, and prior to that a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final settlement.

Russia has said it will support the resolution. Despite Rathke's statements, US Secretary of State John Kerry has not publicly stated that Washington would use its veto against the resolution. However, Kerry's spokeswoman recently said the United States will not support the resolution.