Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the Jewish State will withstand the diplomatic ambush being prepared by the Palestinian Authority and Arab Nations in the halls of the United Nations.
Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday’s weekly government cabinet meeting this week that any resolution to force Israel to withdraw to the 1949 Armistice Lines by November 2016 – as is called for in a draft resolution circulated by Jordan – will be rejected by the UN Security Council.
“This will bring the radical Islamic elements to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “We will not allow this. We will rebuff this forcefully and responsibly. Let there be no doubt; this will be rejected.”
Washington appeared to waffle on whether or not to commit to a concrete veto of any resolution that would force an Israeli withdrawal to the “1967 lines,” as the 1949 Armistice lines are sometimes referred to.
Nevertheless, a senior U.S. official told the Reuters news agency the Palestinian Authority proposal as currently phrased was not acceptable.
“The Palestinian draft through the Jordanians contains a hard deadline for the withdrawal from the West Bank of two years, so that is not the way we would look at handling a very complicated security negotiation, by simply mandating a flat deadline of two years,” the official explained.
Netanyahu has made it clear that the most recent spate of rocket fire from Gaza during last summer’s 50-day Operation Protective Edge underscored the risks Israelis have faced daily since the last time a major piece of territory was handed back to PA Arabs. More than 12,000 rockets, missiles and mortars have peppered southern and central Israel since that time, killing and mutilating thousands of Israeli civilians. That was the price for having uprooted nearly two dozen Jewish towns and expelled nearly 9,000 families from their homes and businesses – and in Judea and Samaria alone, nearly half a million Jews call the region “home.”
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu in Rome to discuss the various alternative proposals circulating around the UN.
Kerry then travels to Paris for talks with his European counterparts before leaving for London, where he will meet with Arab envoys.
PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat will join a delegation of foreign ministers from the Arab League in meeting with Kerry in hopes of persuading the U.S. not to use its veto in the UN Security Council against the PA proposal.