Anti-settlement draft resolution to be submitted to UN Wednesday: Palestinians

20:40, January 19, 2011      

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An Arab-Palestinian draft resolution against Israeli settlement activities will be submitted before members of the United Nations Security Council Wednesday, said a Palestinian official.

"We will present the final draft of the resolution to the member states today," Nabil Shaath, a Palestinian peace negotiator, told Xinhua. "So far, the date to discuss the draft resolution at the Security Council is not yet set."

The Palestinians decided to ask the UN Security Council to condemn Jewish settlements after Israel resumed building in the West Bank in September 2010. Israel's refusal to extend a 10-month moratorium on construction caused U.S.-brokered peace negotiations to halt after the Palestinians walked out in protest.

Asked about possible U.S. veto on the draft resolution, Shaath said, "it will be difficult for Washington" to use the veto, since the Obama administration and previous administrations urged Israel to freeze the building.

"The draft resolution says the settlement is illegal and obstructs the peace process and must be halted. This is what the Americans are saying as well," he added.

The Palestinians also seek international recognition of their right to have a state alongside Israel with its capital in East Jerusalem. A string of Latin America countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador, have already recognized the Palestinian right.

On Tuesday, the Palestinians also won support of Russia, whose President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia maintains its previous position regarding the Palestinian state. Medvedev, who visited the West Bank, was referring to the former Soviet Union's recognition of the Palestinian state which late leader Yasser Arafat declared in 1988.

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