U.N. chief hopes for momentum from Palestinian draft resolution

Story highlights

  • Draft resolution regarding Israeli occupation expected from Palestinian delegation in two days
  • U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry spoke Monday
  • Serry cited "growing impatience" from the international community
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon hopes that the Security Council work on an Israeli-Palestinian draft resolution can generate "constructive momentum," a U.N. Peace coordinator said Monday.
Ban called the potential for a meaningful framework, a "major step" in nearly 50 years of negotiation, according to Robert Serry, the U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
Serry briefed the Security Council Monday on the situation in the Middle East and acknowledged a draft resolution for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Though there is no official timing on a resolution yet, the remarks come two days before reports say the Palestinian delegation is expected to submit a draft resolution to the Security Council calling for an end to Israeli occupation.
Despite some optimistic remarks, Serry said that the conflict is at a pivotal moment and that 2014 "changed the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" with a peaceful future "more uncertain than ever."
The current deadlock in negotiations is at a "dramatic moment" with a one-state reality looming if the situation is not addressed, Serry said.
Serry cited the recent violence "now becoming more religiously inspired" as particularly unsettling.
"For the first time since 2007, Palestinians from Gaza were permitted to worship at the al-Aqsa mosque. These are encouraging developments that should be continued. President Abbas' calls for calm have also been welcome," Serry said.
But Serry condemned the reinstatement of punitive home demolitions -- a practice in which the Israeli government demolishes homes of Palestinians suspected of links to attacks against Israelis -- after nearly a decade in which Israel largely stopped the practice.
"These acts targeting family homes of perpetrators of attacks against Israeli citizens are a form of collective penalty that contravenes International law and risks undermining the already fragile situation. They are wrong, and counterproductive."
He said that there is evidence of "growing impatience" from the international community as well.
"In continuation of an ongoing trend in Europe, parliaments in France, Spain and Portugal adopted nonbinding resolutions that call upon their respective governments to recognize a Palestinian state," Serry said.
"These are significant developments that serve to highlight growing impatience at the continued lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution and that governments are under increased public pressure to promote an end to the conflict once and for all," he said.