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10 December 2023

Palestinians to make fresh UN anti-settlement bid


The Palestinians plan to launch another attempt to seek United Nations condemnation of Israeli settlements, after the US vetoed a motion at the Security Council, a senior official said on Saturday.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation said that Palestinian leaders have decided to take a fresh bid before the world body's General Assembly, which convenes in New York in September.

"Our decision now is to go to the General Assembly of the United Nations to pass a UN resolution against the settlements and  condemn them and to emphasize its lack of legitimacy," he told AFP. "And then we will put forward a draft to condemn the settlements to the UN Security Council."

Ahead of Friday night's Security Council vote, the United States had pressured the Palestinians to drop their backing for the resolution, but to no avail, with Abbas rejecting a personal appeal from Obama.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down late last year after the expiry of a temporary freeze on Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank.

US attempts to coax Israel into renewing the freeze ran aground in December, with the Palestinians refusing to return to the negotiating table while Jewish settlers build on land they want for a future state.

Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian land seized during the 1967 Six-Day War is considered illegal by the international community, including the United States.