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Foreign Policy: Unilateral Palestinian Move “Risks a Serious Rupture with the United States”

Foreign Policy on Thursday assessed growing tensions between Palestinian officials and Washington, citing a range of statements to the effect that relations between Ramallah and Washington may become strained should the Palestinians continue to press unilateral moves toward statehood at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The outlet, which said the bid “risks a serious rupture with the United States,” quoted one European diplomat as saying that Ramallah was “not really interested in achieving an outcome, but in provoking a public standoff with the United States.”

Foreign Policy argued that the chance that the Palestinian resolution would be adopted was “virtually zero,” noting that Foggy Bottom “has sought to assure Israel that it will block any U.N. resolution that threatens its security and risks undercutting the prospects of a negotiated settlement to the crisis.”

A draft resolution submitted to the UNSC on Wednesday included a demand for a timeline for the withdrawal of Israeli security forces from areas that the Palestinians intend to claim for a future state, as well as a deadline for the parties to reach a peace agreement. The State Department and top lawmakers had already on Thursday stated opposition to the moves, with State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki flatly stating at the day’s press briefing that “in terms of the specifics of [the draft resolution] in its current form, we couldn’t support it.”

The Obama administration has long insisted that Palestinian unilateral moves toward statehood – which violates decades of commitments to pursuing peace with Israel under a bilateral framework – endanger the peace process as well as undermines the economic viability of a future Palestinian state.

[Photo: U.S. Department of State / WikiCommons ]