UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 18 (UPI) — A draft measure with a definitive timetable for a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank, targets for Palestinian sovereignty and territorial exchanges received the support of Arab countries at the United Nations Security Council.
The resolution was formally shared with the 15 Security Council members Wednesday after a day of lobbying by Palestinian U.N. representatives. It offers an ambitious road map to statehood for Palestine, and includes the sharing of Jerusalem, with Israel, for a national capital and the withdrawal of Israeli forces by the end of 2017. The two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine existing side by side, is based on a French U.N. proposal, although reference to recognition of Israel as a Jewish state was removed from the new measure.
The measure calls for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings to an end the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfills the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states — Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable state of Palestine.”
A two-hour meeting Wednesday between Arab diplomats and Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s U.N. ambassador, persuaded the Arab countries to support the resolution, although Mansour acknowledged that some of the language may require modification.
“We will continue negotiating with all of them, and the Americans if they are ready and willing, so that perhaps we can succeed in having something adopted by the Security Council,” Mansour said at the end of the meeting. Historically, the United States has been reluctant to involve the Security Council in the Israel- Palestinian debate, instead favoring direct talks.