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December 13, 2014

Palestine and Israel – International Recognition and UN Resolutions

Palestinians took a step toward joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) Monday when Palestine became an official observer state. Later that day Israel’s parliament voted to officially dissolve itself in preparation for March 17th elections, two years earlier than expected.

Tuesday, Ireland became the most recent European nation to pass a nonbinding resolution calling for the formal recognition of the state of Palestine. Next week the Swiss government will convene the states that are a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention to discuss the situation in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The meeting is expected to “issue a harsh condemnation of Israel for its construction in the settlements.” Israel, the US and Australia are not expected to attend.

Former Israeli Minister of Finance leader Yair Lapid said, "[Israel] should turn to the Arab League to initiate a move that will lead to a regional agreement and separation from the Palestinians." Lapid said such an agreement would open economic doors for Israel and give Egypt and Jordan a role in helping Israeli maintain security.

Netanyahu will meet with US Secretary of State Kerry on December 15th in Rome to discuss a possible upcoming UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution. The Palestinians have put forth a proposal calling for an end to Israeli occupation in the West Bank by 2016. UNSC members France and Britain as well as Germany have proposed an alternate draft that sets a two-year deadline and principles for reaching a permanent agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, including a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and Jerusalem as the capital of both states. Israel opposes initiatives on the Palestinians at the UNSC and the US wants to avoid vetoing a resolution on Palestine.

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