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Arab League to push UN on Palestinian state

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The Arab League has agreed to present to the UN Security Council a draft resolution that will set a timeframe for the creation of a Palestinian state.

“We can no longer wait. We can no longer live with the status quo. Israel wants us to be an authority without authority,” Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said. “I understand the consequences of the UNSC move, but the most dangerous situation we can be in is remain in the status quo.”

Al Jazeera’s Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said that Palestinians expected to face a veto from the United States – Israel’s biggest ally – at the UN.

“If the US decides to take punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority – maybe cutting off the much-needed aid – it will not be able to survive on its own and will need support from the Arab states. And the issue must have been discussed at the meeting today.”

The foreign ministers of the League set up a committee on Saturday comprising Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan and Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby to begin seeking international backing for the resolution, they said in their closing statement.

The statement did not specify when the resolution would be presented, but diplomatic sources have said Jordan, an Arab member in the Security Council, will present the draft within the next few days.

The move came after the Palestinians drafted a UNSC resolution calling for an end to Israeli occupation by November 2016, which they shared informally with Arab states and some council members, UN diplomats said on Wednesday.

The text has not been formally circulated to the full 15-nation Security Council, a move that can only be done by a council member, said the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It calls for “the full withdrawal of Israel … from all of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a specified timeframe, not to exceed November 2016,” diplomats said. Al Jazeera

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