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U.S., Britain, Australia won’t support Palestinian bid for statehood at UN

Palestinian sources say that the US, UK, and Australia have each indicated that they would reject a Palestinian-proposed UN Security Council resolution setting a timetable for ending Israel’s administration of the West Bank and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 armistice lines.

Haaretz reports that members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s UN delegation have met with representatives from all 15 member-states of the Security Council in recent days to determine what kind of response their proposed resolution would receive. While the US, UK, and Australia were definitive in their rejection, China and Russia, as well as rotating member Jordan, told the Palestinians they would support such a resolution. The remaining Security Council states have yet to give a definitive answer either way.

Members of the Palestinian delegation said that most of the countries approached were sympathetic to the Palestinian proposal, especially in light of the difficult situation in which the Palestinians find themselves and the suspension of any peace process negotiations with Israel. They said some representatives requested more time before making their stances public, possibly at the request of the US.

The Palestinians maintain that the US has been pressuring a number of countries to push for a delay of at least a few months in bringing the proposal forward. Reasons offered have reportedly included that such a proposal could affect US mid-term elections in November, or that it could distract from and undermine the US-led war against ISIS and Islamic terror.

In response, Abbas has been working to get a declaration from a group of Arab countries in support of a resolution, with the intent to counter the American pressure.

In order for a resolution to be adopted, all five permanent members of the Security Council must agree to it. That means that the US, UK, China, France, and Russia all have veto power to reject any substantive resolution.

But the Palestinians see symbolic value in bringing the resolution even if it is vetoed by the US or UK. One official explained that the Palestinian goal is to get a majority of nine. Even if the resolution would be vetoed, the Palestinians would see themselves as being in a stronger position for taking further diplomatic steps and joining international organizations.

It has yet to be determined when the Palestinians might put forward their resolution, but it is unlikely that they would submit any resolution without first getting sufficient commitments from member states to assure a Security Council majority.

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