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UN security council to vote on resolution to end Israeli occupation

Palestinian draft resolution would set terms for peace but is all but certain to be defeated

The U.N. Security Council is set to vote Tuesday evening on a Palestinian resolution calling for an end to Israel's occupation within three years — a proposal virtually certain to be defeated due to likely U.S. opposition.

Jordan's U.N. Ambassador Dina Kawar, the Arab representative on the Security Council, told reporters after a closed-door meeting of the Arab group Tuesday that the 22 envoys supported the Palestinian call for an immediate vote on the final draft they submitted on Monday.

But the United States, Israel's closest ally, said Monday it is opposed to the draft resolution. It has insisted on a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, not an imposed timetable.

If the resolution musters the minimum nine required "yes" votes in the Security Council for adoption, the U.S. is virtually certain to veto it.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, told reporters who asked why the Palestinians were pressing for a vote in the face of a U.S. veto that it was time for the Security Council "to shoulder its responsibility and to adopt this resolution."

"If one party decides for whatever reason that they do not want to go along with this massive support by the international community to find a just solution to this conflict, to try to save the two-state solution by asking for the end of the occupation that started in 1967 ... then nobody should blame us as Arabs and Palestinians and Muslims ... and so many others for not opening a door — a responsible door for peace through the Security Council," Mansour said.

The draft resolution affirms the urgent need to achieve "a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution" to the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict within 12 months and sets a Dec. 31, 2017 deadline for Israel's occupation to end. It calls for an independent state of Palestine to be established within 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and demands "a just solution" to all other outstanding issues including Palestinian refugees, prisoners in Israeli jails, and water.

The Palestinians initially circulated a draft resolution on Oct. 1 asking the council to set a deadline of November 2016 for an Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.

France had been working for a U.N. resolution aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, setting a two-year deadline for success. Diplomats said France was seeking negotiations on the latest draft resolution in the Security Council, but that idea was rejected by the Arab group.

The Associated Press

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