Palestinians buck US, put UN resolution before Security Council demanding Israel withdraw from West Bank

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pressed the resolution despite US opposition. (AP Photo/Luis Romero)

Arab nations backed Palestinians Wednesday, putting a resolution before the UN Security Council Wednesday that would demand an Israeli pullout from the West Bank and East Jerusalem within two years in a bid that could complicate U.S. efforts to broker peace in the region.

The Arab Group at the UN endorsed by consensus the Palestinian resolution, instructing Jordan, a temporary member, to submit it to the powerful panel. The sponsors of the resolution believe that the text is ready for a vote they hope will come as early as Thursday.

The measure, which presents the Arab and pro-Palestinian position, sets the parameters for an Israeli withdrawal beyond the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem becoming its capital, and advance the process of a two-state solution.

The resolution is believed to be based on a French proposal, a rough draft of which Fox News has obtained. But it could not be determined what changes may be made before or during the Arab League session. The Palestinians are calling it the “ending the occupation” resolution.

Should the Security Council take up the measure, it could spark weeks or even months of debate, or be brought to a vote within 24 hours.

Arab leaders said they were pressing ahead with the maneuver in spite of opposition from the U.S., where U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been working to find common ground between Palestinian and Israeli leaders. Although the resolution would likely have support from some European members of the council, the U.S. is likely to veto it, further complicating the peace process.

More than 700,000 Israeli settlers live in the so-called “occupied territories.” Although none live in Gaza, under the resolution believed to be in play Gaza would become an integral part of the Palestinian State.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given no indication he will back out of the March 3 speech to Congress. (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the motion, if passed, would destabilize the region.

“Attempts of the Palestinians and of several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation and will endanger Israel,” he warned in a statement.

The resolution also condemns violence against civilians and all acts of terrorism and promotes a sovereign, non-militarized Palestine, which would have full UN membership.