TEL AVIV – The Palestinian Authority has been in contact with the Obama administration and European countries about the possibility of taking more UN action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before President Obama leaves office next month, a senior PA official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The official said the UN action could come in the form of declarations by UN bodies, including the General Assembly; UN sessions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; or even another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution. He said any further UNSC resolution would depend on the support of the U.S. and European countries after the upcoming Paris Mideast summit slated for January 15.
He said the UN action would seek to set the parameters of a future Palestinian state with a clear timeline for negotiations. If the action comes in the form of a resolution at a UN body, it could call for an infrastructure to establish mechanisms to enforce last week’s UNSC resolution, which demanded a complete halt to Israeli construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem and declared those territories occupied Palestinian lands.
The PA official said the proposals set forth at the Paris Mideast conference will likely serve as the basis for upcoming UN action.
An Israeli official told Breitbart Jerusalem that the Israeli government is aware of the possibility of more UN action in the coming weeks, although the official did not have information about a new UNSC resolution.
The State Department would not provide comment to Breitbart Jerusalem when asked whether the Obama administration had been in contact with the Palestinian Authority about further UN action.
Instead, a spokesperson for the State Department pointed to Tuesday’s press briefing with Deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner at which Toner was asked about future action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and replied that the Obama administration will continue to “work until January 20th.”
Here is that section of the briefing:
QUESTION: Should we see tomorrow’s speech as the last word from the Obama Administration on this issue, a summary of where we are? Or is this the start of a three-and-a-half-week push to create a new framework for negotiations?
MR. TONER: That’s a very good and a very fair question. I don’t want to predict anything and nor do I have anything to announce coming up. Certainly this administration is going to continue to work until January 20th.
The question was referring to yesterday’s speech on Mideast policy by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Meanwhile, the PA official speaking to Breitbart Jerusalem said that any upcoming UN action would be geared toward bypassing the Mideast policies of the incoming Donald Trump administration by establishing binding guidelines for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a halt to settlement activity.
“The new motion will seek to set up a clear timeline for negotiations resulting in the establishment of a Palestinian state and stipulate a procedure for overseeing the implementation of Resolution 2334, including posting inspectors to the Palestinian territories,” said the PA official, who requested anonymity.
He said the “inspectors” are expected to be civilians with a background in security, and would function like the Temporary International Presence mission in Hebron. That mission consists of civilian observers who monitor the so-called Hebron Agreement, which saw the partial redeployment of Israeli forces to sections of Hebron while about 80% of the territory remained under Palestinian control.
The PA official added that the Paris conference is expected to call on all sides to establish a Palestinian state within the so-called 1967 borders in a relatively short period of time, perhaps by the beginning of 2019.
“The goal is for these moves to be binding for the incoming American administration, which would have to adopt them as its platform, and also for the European Union, which is expected to step up should there be clashes with Trump,” he said.
“In the next few days we’ll know whether we’re headed to the UNSC,” the official said. “Right now, the chances of that are very high. From our viewpoint, the goal is partially achieved. The settlements have been designated as the main obstacle to the peace process and now it’s up for the world to make clear that, in the event of failure, the side that would refuse to comply with the will of the international community, as codified in the UN resolution, is the guilty side.”
The official said that at present it remains unclear whether any UNSC session would produce a new resolution or merely validate last week’s resolution.
“Following in the EU’s steps, now the US recognizes that it’s Israel that sabotages the peace talks, and does so through its settlement enterprise,” the official claimed. “The motion is of immense significance – it validates all the decisions by the international community, chiefly the EU, to slap sanctions on Israel in the form of halting cooperation, halting the financing of mutual projects and expansion in scope of marking settlement products to all the products from every single settlement.”
The PA official spoke following reports in recent days that there could be another UN Security Council resolution or some other UN action before Obama leaves office.
Earlier this week, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that the U.S. would veto any other UNSC resolution brought before Obama leaves office if the text of the resolution is anti-Israel. The “anti-Israel” qualifier is left open for interpretation.
After John Kerry’s Mideast speech on Wednesday, Netanyahu said that “the United States, if it’s true to its word, or at least if it’s now true to its word, should now come out and say we will not allow any resolutions, any more resolutions in the Security Council on Israel. Period. Not we will bring or not bring – we will not allow any (further resolutions), and stop this game, the charades.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.