U.S. Open to New Gaza Resolution if It Helps Truce

UNITED NATIONS (AP/Hamodia) -

The United States is open to a new U.N. resolution on Gaza but only if it contributes to sustaining the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said Wednesday.

Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters that a resolution must “do no harm” to the cease-fire that has been holding in recent days and Israeli-Palestinian talks that are scheduled to resume in Cairo, and should “play a positive role in supporting a durable solution.”

Hanan Ashrawi, of the PLO, told a news conference Tuesday that Palestinians are demanding an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines “within three years…”

Power cautioned against any Palestinian attempt to go around Israel, however.

“We don’t think there are shortcuts or unilateral measures that can be taken at the United Nations or any place else that will bring about the outcome that the Palestinian people most seek,” Power said.

“If you mean to secure a permanent peace, Israel has to be a part of that negotiation, just as a practical matter,” Power said. “So to think that you can come to New York and secure what needs to be worked out on the ground is not realistic, and in fact, is likely to have very counterproductive effects.”

A draft resolution circulated by the United States and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press calls for the re-establishment of full Palestinian Authority control over Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas.

It includes a key Israeli demand, affirming that a lasting solution must ensure that Gaza is “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those under the full and legitimate control of the Palestinian Authority.”

In a related development later on Thursday, Washington rejected the Palestinian Authority proposal to solve the conflict by an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three years, according to PA sources.

It was presented to Secretary of State John Kerry by Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Palestinian Authority persident Mahmoud Abbas was recently quoted saying he did not expect the United States’ administration to accept his “unconventional solution.”