Hamas asks Palestine to withdraw draft UNSC resolution

Gaza: The Hamas Sunday called on the Palestinian Authority to withdraw the draft resolution that it intends to present to the UN Security Council (UNSC) for ending the Israeli occupation.

Hamas said in a statement that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) “must admit a failure in the so-called peace process and set up a unified national strategy to gain back our legitimate rights”, reported Xinhua.

“The draft resolution that is (going to be) presented to the (UN) Security Council for voting is a rejected project, which aims at liquidating the just Palestinian cause, because it includes crucial concessions (on) our legitimate rights,” the statement said.

Hamas also called on the Arab League to not give political backing to the resolution and said that instead, it “has to defend and protect the Palestinian cause”.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, had earlier announced that the Arab-backed draft resolution on setting up a date for ending the Israeli occupation would be presented to the UNSC Monday.

“The decision to present the draft resolution for voting to the (UN) Security Council’s assembly was made after eight points in the draft resolution were amended and corrected,” Erekat had told Xinhua.

He said that after the draft resolution was officially presented to the UNSC, the council members would vote in favour or against, Tuesday or Wednesday.

The draft resolution, approved by the Arab League in September, sets 2016 as the year for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories.

The text is also expected to lay down a time frame for negotiations on a final peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

In the past few months, the Palestinian national unity government has been pushing for a UN resolution that determines the borders of a future Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines. Israel has expressed anger over the motion.

In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, but withdrew from the last and laid siege to it in 2005.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on these territories and are demanding that Israel withdraw from then.

In November 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the US.

The upgrade allows the Palestinians to participate in debates at the UN General Assembly and improve their chances of joining UN agencies and the International Criminal Court where they could file complaints against Israel.