Chief Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat on Thursday denied reports that the Palestinians were willing to postpone by two months a petition to the U.N. Security Council calling for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank by November 2016.
The London-based media outlet Asharq Alawsat had reported that the Palestinians acquiesced to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s request to delay the petition and return to negotiations with Israel. The Palestinians reportedly stated that their condition for returning to negotiations would be for Israel to present a map with the borders of a future Palestinian state.
According to Erekat, the U.S. government relayed a message to the PA in Ramallah that the U.S. would use its veto power on any Palestinian proposal brought before the Security Council. Erekat warned that if the U.S. vetoes the Palestinian proposal, the Palestinians will stop all security coordination with Israel and will take unilateral measures, including joining international organizations and the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also denied agreeing to postpone the U.N. Security Council petition. Maliki told Palestinian radio the PA would turn to the Security Council once they know they have secured the required nine of 15 affirmative votes. Maliki also said there is still no framework for getting Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.