UNSC rejects Palestinian resolution

A Palestinian bid to secure a U.N. resolution setting an end date for the occupation failed to pass a Security Council vote in a move Israel hailed on Wednesday as a victory.

The Palestine-drafted resolution, which was backed by Arab states, would have paved the way for an independent Palestinian State with east Jerusalem as its capital.

China, France and Russia were among the eight countries that voted in favour of the text, but the resolution fell short of winning the nine “yes” votes necessary for adoption within the 15-member council. Australia and the United States voted against, and five other countries abstained, including Britain.

The failure to win nine votes also spared Washington from having to wield its veto in a move which would have caused it major embarrassment with its Arab allies.

It set a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians and called for a full withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Palestinian territories by the end of 2017.

The council’s rejection of the resolution was hailed by Israel, which said the Palestinians would achieve their dream of statehood only through bilateral negotiations, rather than through “unilateral” moves at the U.N.

Bid to join ICC

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas Wednesday signed a request to join the International Criminal Court, seeking a new avenue for action against Israel after the failed U.N. resolution. The Palestinians hope ICC membership will pave the way for war crimes prosecutions against Israeli officials for their actions in the occupied territories. — AFP

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