Palestinians push for UN action over Trump Middle East plan

President Mahmoud Abbas to address UNSC on Palestinian rejection of the US Middle East proposal within two weeks.

    Palestinians push for UN action over Trump Middle East plan
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Trump's plan the 'slap of the century' after it was announced [File: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will visit the United Nations within two weeks to address the Security Council on his rejection of the new US Middle East plan, his ambassador to the body has said. 

    At that time, a draft resolution will be submitted to the council, Riyad Mansour told reporters on Wednesday, without specifying a date for the visit.

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    US President Donald Trump unveiled his long-delayed plan - referred to as the "deal of the century" - to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday, but Palestinians called the proposal dead on arrival and Abbas reacted with " a thousand no's" to the announcement. 

    "We will try our best with our friends to have the strongest possible draft resolution and to receive the strongest and largest possible voting in favour of that resolution," Mansour said. He did not give details of what might be in the text.

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    "Of course we would like to see a strong, large opposition to this Trump plan," he said, with Tunisian Ambassador to the UN  Moncef Baati, currently serving a two-year term on the 15-member Security Council, standing beside him.

    However, the US is likely to veto any such resolution, diplomats said, allowing the Palestinians to take the draft text to the 193-member UN General Assembly, where a vote would show how Trump's plan has been received internationally.

    Mansour said Abbas would use his visit to the UN to "put before the entire international community the reaction of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership against this onslaught against the national rights of the Palestinian people by the Trump administration".

    Netanyahu in Russia

    Israel's UN mission signalled on Tuesday that it was preparing for UN action to be launched by the Palestinian delegation, saying in a statement that it was "working to thwart these efforts, and will lead a concerted diplomatic campaign with the US".

    Trump's plan, which he announced alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, DC, describes Jerusalem as the "undivided capital" of Israel and promises a new capital on the outskirts of eastern Jerusalem for a proposed State of Palestine.

    It would also give Israel control over the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley.

    On Thursday, Netanyahu arrived in Moscow, where he is expected to present the Middle East proposal to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "I'd like to speak to you and hear your insights and see how we can combine all our forces for security and peace," Netanyahu told Putin at the start of their meeting.

    "You're actually the first leader I'm speaking with after my visit to Washington about President Trump's deal of the century," he added.

    The Russian leader did not mention the plan in his public remarks.

    Russia has been pursuing a greater role as a mediator between Israelis and Palestinians in recent years. Putin met with both Netanyahu and Abbas last week in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, respectively.

    Reporting from Moscow, Al Jazeera's Step Vassen said the Russian government has so far taken a "very soft tone" since the US-Israeli plan was announced.

    "Russia has always supported the Arab peace initiative, which included Israel's withdrawal of territories that it occupied since 1967, and had always promoted a role in mediating in the conflict together with the UN, European Union and the US and definitely wants to include the Palestinians, but its very careful tone shows that Putin doesn't seem to want to go on a collision course with Netanyahu right now," she said.

    Separately, ahead of Netanyahu's visit, Putin pardoned an Israeli woman, Naama Issachar, whose sentencing to more than seven years in prison for possession of a few grams of marijuana at a Moscow airport last year rattled relations between their countries.

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    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies