The Palestinian Authority is claiming it has the necessary nine-vote majority to enable it to pass a resolution through the UN Security Council calling for recognition of a "Palestinian state" as well as an Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and "East Jerusalem".
The vote is due to take place tonight (Tuesday) at 10 p.m. GMT, after the PA about-faced on its prior plans to postpone the vote until after the new year.
As recently as Monday PA foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki had indicated that the vote would be postponed until after the new year, after the vote was put off last Friday and again on Monday.
iplomatic sources had claimed the resolution would flop due to a lack of support by the council's 15 members. But according to Channel Two, France and Luxembourg have now decided to vote for the resolution, tipping the balance in the PA's favor.
If true it would force the US - which has stated its firm opposition to such unilateral measures - to use its veto at the Security council. That move could provoke tensions with some of America's Arab allies in the UN.
Earlier Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke reiterated the US's opposition to 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.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird - whose country is not a UNSC member - called on the council's member-states to reject the proposal, accusing the PA of attempting to "circumvent negotiations."
"Canada fundamentally believes that Palestinian statehood can only be a by-product of negotiations with the State of Israel. We have long rejected unilateral action on either side, as we believe it is ultimately unhelpful to the cause of peace," Bard said in a statement Tuesday.
"The resolution that was submitted to the United Nations Security Council on December 29 is just another attempt to circumvent negotiations and place preconditions on future discussions," he added. "Canada therefore calls upon members of the UN Security Council to reject this resolution and instead use its influence to urge both sides to sit down without preconditions."
"For far too long, Israelis and Palestinians have been at odds. It is time for serious negotiations and concessions from both sides to ensure a future of peace, security and prosperity."