Criticism of US Mideast plan softened in UN draft resolution

Palestinian Authority preparing to submit resolution to the UN Security Council challenging Trump's Mideast peace plan.

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A reworked Palestinian Authority resolution has dropped its initial condemnation of President Donald Trump's Mideast peace plan, opting for less confrontational language ahead of a United Nations
Security Council vote, a copy obtained by AFP shows.

The latest draft also no longer mentions the United States by name as the plan's author, and couches its criticism in milder language than in the original.

The changes come as diplomatic pressure mounts ahead of Tuesday's Security Council vote, which Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is expected to be on hand for.

In one sign of the pressure, Tunisia earlier in the week abruptly fired its ambassador to the United Nations, Moncef Baati, citing his failure to consult with his foreign ministry on matters said to include the peace plan.

Diplomatic sources said Tunisia's President Kais Saied was worried that Baati's expressions of support for the Palestinian Authority would damage Tunis' relations with the United States.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser, briefed the Security Council on the US plan on Thursday.

The plan has been roundly rejected by the Palestinian Authority, the Arab League and the
Islamic Cooperation Organization. On Sunday, the African Union followed suit, with its chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat telling a summit of African leaders in Addis Ababa that it "trampled on the rights of the Palestinian people."

The initial draft of the Palestinian Authority's resolution, which was presented by Tunisia and Indonesia last Tuesday, charged that the US plan "breaches international law and the internationally-endorsed terms of reference for the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The latest version says the US initiative "departs from the internationally-endorsed terms of reference and parameters for the achievement of a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to this conflict, as enshrined in the relevant United Nations resolutions."

The draft no longer calls for an international conference on the Middle East "at the earliest possible date," instead replacing that language with a reminder that such a call was made in a 2008 UN resolution.

It also adds a line "condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction."

Despite the softer tone, however, it was unclear if the latest version would be enough to avoid a US veto when it comes to a vote on Tuesday.

It still condemns Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, as well as Israeli neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, and calls for Palestinian statehood along the boundary
lines from before June 5th 1967.

Abbas is scheduled to hold a news conference in New York with former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert after the vote, according a statement from the Palestinian Authority mission to the UN.



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