Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will request that the United States continue its policy of vetoing United Nations resolutions aimed at criticizing Israel in his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday. Kerry is set to meet with Netanyahu in Rome, where they are expected to discuss a new U.N. draft resolution by the Palestinian Authority seeking to end the Israeli occupation, according to a report by Haaretz.
"What is at stake now is a resolution at the U.N. Security Council to try to force Israel to accept the creation of a Palestinian state unilaterally and within a certain time frame," said a senior Israeli official on Monday. "The consistent American policy for the past 47 years has opposed such unilateral steps. There is no reason for that to change, and we expect that it won't change."
Palestinian officials are expected to submit their draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. The proposal seeks a two-year deadline for ending the occupation, according to a Palestinian official quoted by the AFP on Sunday. The move would set the stage for a clash between two competing draft resolutions about the conflict at the council, which is already considering a French proposal seeking a two-year deadline for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the terms of Palestinian statehood, according to the AP.
U.S. officials, including Kerry, have said that they oppose unilateral measures from either side, however, the lack of elaboration on this specific draft by the White House has prompted consternation from Israeli officials, who fear that Washington may change its longstanding policy on vetoing Palestinian initiatives at the U.N., according to Haaretz.
However, there is a good chance that the U.S. might not even have to invoke its veto at the council. A Palestinian official, quoted by the AP on Monday, said that the proposal, which is being sponsored by Jordan, only has the support of seven members of the 15-member council. This would fall short of the nine votes needed to pass the resolution and would give the U.S. a way out of using its veto, which might risk angering Washington’s Arab allies.