Both Egypt and the United States have warned the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) leadership not to advance any moves at the UN Security Council until after the U.S. presidential election next month, a senior PA official told Haaretz on Thursday.
Egypt currently holds a rotating seat on the Security Council and the U.S. is a permanent member.
The official revealed to Haaretz that the messages were sent both directly and indirectly to the PA through Western and Arab intermediaries. The messages stressed that until the U.S. election is over, Washington will veto any resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, including a denunciation of Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.
Aides to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that from the PA’s recent discussions with foreign officials, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, they did not get the impression that the U.S. administration intends to launch any initiatives of its own on this issue or let alone approve a Security Council resolution.
“We have no illusions and no expectations that the Americans won’t veto or otherwise torpedo any resolution submitted to the Security Council,” the senior official told Haaretz. “We also aren’t aware of any plan being cooked up or of any proposal whatsoever. All we hear is that there are ideas.”
Despite the Palestinians’ dissatisfaction with this situation, he added, they do not intend to make any moves at the Security Council until after the U.S. elections. Immediately after the elections however, they do plan to ramp up their efforts at the Security Council, a senior Abbas aide said.
“We’re at the consultation stage now, and we’ll advance our move after the elections,” he said, according to Haaretz. “At the moment, there’s no agreement on the final wording, and it’s not clear to us what the American position will be and if, after the elections, the administration really will be willing to cooperate, or will still cast a veto.”
In recent years, the PA has several times initiated unilateral resolutions at the UN Security Council which seek to condemn Israel over its construction in Judea and Samaria and force a peace settlement on the Jewish state.
There have been concerns that President Barack Obama, freed of re-election concerns, will advance such resolutions or break with American protocol and refrain from vetoing them if they are voted upon before he leaves office.
A group of 88 senators recently urged Obama to maintain the long-standing U.S. policy of vetoing one-sided UN resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab issue.
On Wednesday, the PA envoy to the UN called for Israel to face “consequences” for its failure to heed international appeals to stop building “Jewish settlements on Palestinian land”, calling for “serious, practical measures to compel Israeli compliance with the law”.
His comments came as Arab governments are discussing a proposed draft Security Council resolution demanding a halt to Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, even though a similar measure was vetoed by the United States in 2011.
Arab ministers are to meet later this month in Cairo to decide on whether to move forward with such a measure and present it to the council.