12/17/2014, 00.00
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UN: Palestinians call for an end to Israeli occupation despite threat of US veto

by Joshua Lapide
Jordan and other Arab countries back Security Council resolution that calls for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and East Jerusalem within two years. A European Court orders the removal of Hamas from a list of terrorist organisations on "technical" grounds. International diplomacy appears to be last path to find a solution.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - Palestinians said that they plan to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council to end Israel's occupation of their territories. At the same time, the General Court of the European Union orders Hamas removed from terror list.

Jordan is expected to submit an Arab-backed draft resolution to the UN Security Council as early as Wednesday, seeking a two-year timetable for Israel to withdraw its forces from the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

In London, US Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday held talks with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat. Reports indicate that Kerry told the Palestinian delegation that Washington would use its veto within the Security Council against the resolution, which is strongly opposed by Israel whose future government might be even more right-wing after the 17 March election,

If the United States uses it veto, Erakat told Kerry, the Palestinians would still apply to join all international organisations and conventions, including the International Criminal Court.

For several analysts, the direction taken by Palestinian Authority (PA) is now the only way forward after the failure of Israeli-Palestinian talks, the growing violence in Gaza and repeated terrorist attacks by so-called "lone wolves", people without clear political affiliation, frustrated by decades of oppression, restrictions and humiliations.

As Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem make it increasingly difficult to envisage the creation of a Palestinian state with clear borders and territorial continuity, ordinary Palestinians favour the UN route.  

As part of the 1993 Oslo peace accords, Palestinian leaders agreed to security cooperation with Israel. Under its terms, the Palestinians set up their own National Authority to administer the occupied territories until a final agreement could be reached.

After almost two decades without tangible results, most Palestinians view the Palestinian Authority as an agent of Israel, no more effective than a simple mayor as tax collection, capital flow in and out of the territories and the Palestinian airspace remain under Israeli control.

The situation is such than even the most moderate Palestinians no longer trust the Palestinian Authority and believe that at least Hamas is able to get Israel's respect.

Over the years, the Israeli government has negotiated truces, prisoner exchanges, and cease-fire with Hamas, not the Palestinian Authority, all the while calling it a terrorist organisation.

In fact, the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg accepted the petition by Hamas in which it sought to have itself removed from the EU's list of terrorist organisations.

Both the United States and Israel have reacted negatively to this ruling. In its response, the European court noted that its decision was technical and procedural. It ruled that most of the evidence used to put Hamas on the list of terrorist organisations was from open sources - mainly press publications - rather than factual proofs.

In announcing its decision, the court said that Hamas assets within the EU will remain frozen for the next three months. During this period, EU institutions or member states can appeal it.

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