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JewishJournal.com

November 27, 2012

American push to temper Palestinian U.N. bid reportedly fails

http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/american_push_to_temper_palestinian_u.n._bid_reportedly_fails

An American push to temper a resolution asking the United Nations General Assembly to grant the Palestinians enhanced status has failed, Haaretz reported.

The final draft of the Palestinians' resolution, which is set to be introduced Thursday in the General Assembly, was circulated Tuesday in New York. The United States had urged the Palestinians to add a clause to the draft saying that they would not file criminal charges against Israeli leaders at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Israeli daily reported, but the Palestinians refused to make the addition.

The Palestinians, who are seeking status as a non-member observer state, told the U.S. that they would provide an oral promise not to file charges with the international court for some six months, but after that time period they would not be obligated to the guarantee, Haaretz reported.

Israel also wants a clause saying that the granting of enhanced status is a symbolic decision that grants no sovereignty over the West Bank, Gaza Strip or eastern Jerusalem, according to the newspaper.

"We continue to try to dissuade the Palestinians from taking this action," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday. "We think it's going to be complicating and potentially a step backwards in terms of the larger goal, which is a negotiated solution."

The Palestinians, represented by the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, were rebuffed last year in their bid to have the U.N. Security Council recognize Palestine as a state; the United States successfully lobbied against the move, threatening to use its veto.

There is no such veto in the General Assembly, where the Palestinians have an assured majority. Observer state status does not carry with it the privileges of full membership; observers must still apply to become members of U.N. constituent groups. The PLO is currently a non-member observer entity.

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