The US is pressuring acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw Palestine’s appeal to the UN Security Council (UNSC) for condemning Israeli settlement constructions, a senior official says.
Azzam al-Ahmed, a member of Abbas Fatah party’s central committee, has told Xinhua that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently had a phone conversation with Abbas, in an attempt to sway him.
However, “the Palestinians insist to go ahead with their appeal and ask members of the Security Council to vote for the resolution,” he said.
The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, has also met with ambassadors of several Arab countries to discuss the issue.
She has reportedly said to the Arab diplomats that, in return for the resolution being dropped, the US will back stronger statements on Israel’s settlement construction.
The UN Security Council is to vote on a resolution that calls for a cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel has been persistently proceeding with the construction of its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The United Nations has repeatedly condemned Israel for defying international calls to halt its settlement construction activities.
Palestinians view Israel’s unrelenting settlement construction activities as a major hurdle which smothers their efforts to establish an independent state on the territories Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.