The PA experienced a shocking defeat at the UN when it failed in its unilateral bid, calling for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria within three years. 

The submitted Palestinian Authority resolution to the UN Security Council (UNSC) to end Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria by the end of 2017 was turned down at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, after the PA failed to garner the required nine votes.

Eight countries on the 15-member council – China, France, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg – voted in support of the resolution, two voted against and five abstained. Both the United States and Australia stood by Israel and opposed the aggressive anti-Israel resolution. France’s support for the Palestinian bid came as a surprise to Israel.

Nigeria tipped the scale by abstaining rather than voting in favor of the resolution. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called Nigeria’s leader before the vote and succeeded in persuading him not to support the PA bid.

The US was reportedly deeply involved in leveraging diplomatic pressure to ensure that the Palestinian bid was stopped, reports say. Had the Palestinians obtained the required votes, the US likely would have vetoed the motion.

Palestinian Bid ‘Not Constructive’

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that “the United States every day searches for new ways to take constructive steps to support the parties in making progress toward achieving a negotiated settlement. The Security Council resolution put before us today is not one of those constructive steps.”

The draft resolution was “deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns,” she added. “We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows as well: peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must come at the negotiating table.”

WATCH Israel’s representative at the UNSC:

The Middle East Adviser for The Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN, Israel Nitzan, who represented Israel at the UNSC stated: “The Palestinians have found every possible opportunity to avoid direct negotiations with Israel. They have engaged in a never-ending string of political games, and now they are parading into this Council with preposterous unilateral proposals. I have news for the Palestinians – you cannot agitate and provoke your way to a state. I urge the Council to stop indulging the Palestinians and put an end to their march of folly.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stated on Wednesday: “The failure of the Palestinian resolution must teach the Palestinians that provocation and attempts to impose unilateral measures on Israel will not achieve anything – to the contrary. The Palestinians’ contempt for the most important states in the international community, first and foremost the United States, stems in part from the support they enjoy from some of the European states. Every state that truly wishes to promote a solution to the conflict must behave responsibly and make it clear to the Palestinians that decisions are made only around the negotiating table.”

PA Continues to Threaten Israel

The PA’s UN observer, Riyad Mansour, responded to the defeat by accusing Israel of highjacking the UNSC and paralyzing it, adding that is was time to end the “abhorrent Israeli occupation and impunity that has brought our people so much suffering.”

“The result of today’s vote shows that the Security Council as a whole is clearly not ready and willing to shoulder its responsibilities in a way that would … allow us to open the doors to for peace. It is thus most regrettable that the Security Council remains paralyzed,” said Mansour.

Jordan’s envoy to the UN stated after the Palestinian failure that her country would continue to pressure the international community to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict despite the PA defeat.

The Palestinians have previously threatened to dissolve the PA, thus dumping the responsibility for the Palestinian population on Israel if their resolution was rejected by the UN. Mansour stated after his failure that the PA “must now consider its next steps,” but he did not clarify what they were. The PA leadership is scheduled to convene Wednesday evening to discuss its next move against Israel.

By Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel

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