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Palestinians to submit UN resolution 'this month'

If the US, as expected, vetoes the Palestinian bid, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said he will seek to join the ICC
US Secretary of State John Kerry greets Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat in Amman earlier this year (AFP)

The Palestinians will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council later this month calling for an end date for Israeli occupation, a senior official said on Tuesday.

The text, which the Palestinians have been preparing for weeks, is expected to be vetoed by permanent member the United States.

But officials in Ramallah have said that will not deter them after round upon round of failed peace talks with Israel.

"No other solution has been proposed by the United States" to achieve peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state, senior Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) official Wassel Abu Yusef told AFP.

"The US administration is pushing to resume bilateral negotiations, even while it's clear that these have failed throughout the last few years."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has previously vowed that if the US vetoed such a resolution, he will seek to join the International Criminal Court. By joining the court, Palestinians could sue Israeli officials over alleged war crimes in the occupied territories. 

In September, however, MEE reported that Abbas stopped an application to join the ICC just days after a Palestinian application was submitted and halfway through Israel's summer bombardment of Gaza.

Fatah members have made little secret over their anger at Abbas' procrastination in signing the Treaty of Rome and moving forward with a war crimes case against Israel.

In June, a recording was leaked in which Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator claimed that Abbas had promised the Israeli Premier Benyamin Netanyahu not to make the application to the ICC.

Erekat allegedly said: “Abu Mazen [Abbas], if you want to move Netanyahu, work on the [application] documents for international institutions. He said: I made a commitment’ [not to apply to international institutions]. What commitment have you made? This isn’t your daddy’s farm! This is a nation, this is Palestine. This is bigger than individuals. He didn’t listen to me. I swear, I submitted my resignation twice.”

Kerry, Erekat meet in US

News of the resolution comes a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry and Erekat met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the future of the peace process as well as the current tensions in Jerusalem.

Erekat reportedly appealed to Kerry to support a bid for Palestinian statehood at the UN Security Council. 

"As an emergency move to protect the two-state solution, we call upon all countries to intensify their efforts to support recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders," Erekat said in a statement quoted by Ma'an News Agency on Monday.

"We urge the US administration to support our request at the UN Security Council to consolidate the borders of the State of Palestine."

Ahead of the meeting, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki dismissed reports that proposals would be laid on the table during his meeting with Erekat.

"There are no current plans to introduce a peace plan," Psaki said. "It's up to the parties to take steps."

The last round of talks broke down in April after nine months of fruitless US-brokered meetings which were overshadowed by persistent Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian land.

The Palestinians have been under intense pressure not to push forward with the Security Council resolution - including with alleged threats of cuts to US aid which Abbas previously reported to be $700 million annually.

PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo had said last month that the text would be submitted by the end of October but that target date passed.

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