Arab nations on Monday endorsed a Palestinian proposal for the U.N. Security Council to set a 2017 deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, a return to the borders before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and recognition of a Palestinian state, according to Jordanian and Palestinian officials.
Israel and the United States both objected strenuously to the United Nations weighing in via a resolution, which would also call for a negotiated peace settlement within a year and envision East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, according to reports in the Palestinian news media. The Palestinian Authority hopes for a vote soon by the Security Council.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently brushed off entreaties from Secretary of State John F. Kerry to table the measure and notified Kerry in a phone call that he was moving ahead.
The resolution is almost guaranteed to fail. It is not clear whether the measure has the necessary nine votes from the 15 Security Council members. But even if it passes, the United States, a permanent member of the council, would almost certainly veto it.
A State Department official said Monday that the resolution was not constructive.
“We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank,” said spokesman Jeff Rathke, adding that the measure did not address Israel’s security needs.
“We do not believe this resolution advances the goal of a two-state solution,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if the United Nations does not reject the resolution, “we will.”