Israeli PM rejects Palestinian ultimatum through UN

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JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday rejected any Palestinian attempt to set an ultimatum through a United Nations Security Council resolution for Israel to end its occupation.

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“We will not accept attempts to dictate to us unilateral moves on a limited timetable,” he said in a statement before heading for Rome to meet US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“In the reality in which Islamic terrorism is reaching out to all corners of the globe, we will rebuff any attempt that would put this terrorism inside our home,” he said.

“We will stand firm in the face of any diktat,” Netanyahu added.

The Palestinians on Sunday announced they would present a draft resolution to the Security Council on Wednesday setting a two-year deadline for Israel to withdraw from occupied Palestinian territories.

Kerry and Netanyahu were to meet later Monday to discuss the vote, with the US expected to veto the draft.

Netanyahu on Sunday ruled out the possibility of a withdrawal from the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem.

European countries have been trying to cobble together a draft which would win consensus at the 15-member Security Council, with the new text simply calling for a return to peace talks aimed at achieving a two-state solution.

Previous rounds of US-brokered talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have failed, with the most recent ending in April amid bitter recriminations.

Washington has long opposed unilateral Palestinian moves to win recognition for a state of Palestine at the UN.

But Unite States officials said they drew a distinction between a unilateral step, and an effort to draw up a multilateral resolution at the Security Council and have not decided yet whether to back or veto any such resolution.

There is a growing US recognition too of European impatience with the current status quo, as several European parliaments in recent weeks have called on their governments to recognize a state of Palestine.

AFP

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