Palestinian UN draft 'act of aggression': Israeli FM

Palestinian UN draft 'act of aggression': Israeli FM

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday that submission of a Palestinian draft resolution at the UN Security Council - calling for an end to the Israeli occupation within three years - was tantamount to an "act of aggression" by the Palestinian Authority (PA) AnadoluAgency reported

Lieberman was quoted by Israeli public radio as saying that the move, which is being spearheaded by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, would be of no benefit to the Palestinians and might even worsen their situation.

"Without Israel's consent, nothing will change," Lieberman said in reference to a final Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

On Wednesday night, Jordan formally submitted the Palestinian draft resolution at the UN Security Council. The proposed resolution calls for Israel to withdraw from all Palestinian land seized in 1967 by the end of 2017.

The draft resolution further calls for "a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution [to the conflict] that brings an end to the Israeli occupation."

It also sets the end of 2017 as the deadline for Israel's full withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, to be accompanied by the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Dismissing the move as a "gimmick," Lieberman said the Security Council's 15 member-states should not "waste time" on the PA's draft resolution.

"The UN Security Council should concern itself with the real important issues, like how to deal with murderous terrorist acts or deliberate what has been happening in Syria and Libya," he said.

Yuval Steinitz, Israel's minister for intelligence, international relations and strategic affairs, said the establishment of a Palestinian state would be tantamount to an "act of war," Israeli public radio reported.

He went on to claim that an Israeli withdrawal and a Palestinian state would result in a "takeover of the West Bank" by Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group.

Steinitz said Israel would consider dismantling the PA in retaliation for the latter's Security Council bid.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as its capital - a move never recognized by the international community.

The proposed draft resolution could be put to a vote within 24 hours of its submission. There is no guarantee, however, that the document will be voted on.

In the past, two Arab-backed UN resolutions - one about the blockaded Gaza Strip and another on illegal Israeli settlement building - were never put to a vote since it was clear that they lacked the required support.

If put to a vote, the motion will require a Yes vote from at least nine Security Council member states in order to pass. What's more, it can be vetoed by any of the five permanent council members, including the U.S., a staunch ally of Israel.

An initial version of the draft resolution set November 2016 as the deadline for Israel's withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967.

However, a Palestinian diplomatic source told The Anadolu Agency that the draft had been modified at the last minute to extend the deadline by another year following an agreement between PA officials and other Arab parties.

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