Palestinians urge United Nations ceasefire resolution

Last updated 17:26 12/07/2014
New York
Reuters

Protesters shout Free Palestine during a march demanding an end to the escalating Israeli-Palestinian hostilities in that region, in midtown Manhattan.

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The Palestinians and their international supporters are discussing a UN draft resolution that condemns all violence against civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calls for "an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire".

An initial draft of the proposed Security Council resolution expresses "grave concern" at the escalating violence and deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories due to Israeli military operations, particularly against the Gaza Strip, and over heavy civilian casualties including children.

The council is deeply divided and frequently paralysed over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the United States defending close ally Israel while most other members back the Palestinians.

The draft proposal omits any mention of the hundreds of rockets that have been fired into Israel by Hamas, which controls Gaza.

This is likely to make it unacceptable to the United States if the resolution is introduced in the Security Council.

The draft calls on both parties to abide by their obligations under the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in war, to refrain from actions that could further destabilise the situation and to make urgent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.

The Palestinians began talks on the resolution after an emergency meeting of the council on Thursday.

At that closed meeting, Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Jordan's deputy ambassador had told members he had some "elements" that could be the basis for a press statement, which unlike a resolution would not be legally binding.

The elements, obtained by AP, call for "immediate calm and ending the hostilities in Gaza including the launching of rocket attacks," restoration of the 2012 ceasefire and resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peace agreement and a two-state solution.

They also call for protection of civilians.

Churkin said Jordan's representative "retreated to talk to the American delegation" and "that was the end of it - we never received any draft of a press statement".

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- AP

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