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U.N. Security Council Rejects Palestinian Statehood Resolution

The U.N. Security Council failed to pass a Palestinian draft resolution that called for, among other things, an end to the Israeli occupation by late 2017. The proposal faced strong U.S. opposition, which threatened to veto the measure if it passed.

The measure needed support from at least nine of the 15 members of the Security Council for it to be adopted. It received eight "yes" votes and two "no" notes. Five countries abstained.

"We don't think this resolution is constructive," State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said in Washington before the measure failed. "We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion."

He added that other countries on the Security Council saw similar problems with the resolution, which, he said, "fails to account for Israel's legitimate security needs." The U.K., another veto-wielding member of the panel, also said it could not back the Palestinian proposal.

The Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, said his side would present the resolution despite the opposition. It's time for the Security Council "to shoulder its responsibility," he said.

U.S.-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority stalled in April. Israel says the Palestinian resolution would only make the conflict worse.

The Palestinian draft resolution also called for, according to Reuters, "negotiations to be based on territorial lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East war. It also calls for a peace deal within 12 months and ending Israeli occupation by the end of 2017." The proposal added that East Jerusalem will be the capital of an independent Palestinian state and called for an end to the construction of Israeli settlements.

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