Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are continuing their diplomatic offensive against Israel and are waging a new campaign at the United Nations to revive peace prospects, the PA’s UN envoy Riyad Mansour declared on Friday, according to AFP.
The first step to this campaign, he said, is a Security Council resolution condemning Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
Mansour rejected the suggestion that prospects for progress were slim because of the election campaign in the United States, which could make Washington more reluctant to put pressure on Israel to compromise.
"We will not accept that the year 2016 is a year when we cannot do anything," Mansour was quoted by AFP as having told reporters.
"We have to open some doors to keep the hope alive and keep the two-state solution alive," he said, adding that the success of the Iran nuclear deal and progress on the Syrian peace track highlighted the need for a "collective approach" to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The ongoing violence on the ground is likely to worsen if nothing is done, he said, adding that the situation in August and September will be "much, much worse than what we see now."
The PA ambassador recently met with the envoys from the permanent Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — to discuss the way forward, AFP reported.
Mansour declined to give details of the talks, including whether the United States, which as Israel's ally has blocked UN action, was open to a Security Council role in reviving the peace process.
The announcement is in line with recent reports that the PA was trying to advance this resolution in the UN Security Council and had been in contact with France, Spain and Egypt to get them to draw up such a resolution and support it.
Mansour on Friday envoy suggested that a resolution condemning Israel's expansion of “Jewish settlements” could be a first step, but he stressed that there should be a broader plan.
This could include the creation of an international support group, the deployment of observers to trouble spots or the convening of an international peace conference.
"The signal has to come from the Security Council," he said, according to AFP.
The United States used its veto in 2011 to block a UN resolution condemning Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, and it has rejected a UN role in the peace process.
The council has not adopted a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process since 2009.
The move marks the latest effort by the PA to embarrass Israel and have it condemned in international institutions.
In 2014, the PA submitted a resolution to the UN which called for Israel to “end the occupation” – that is, to withdraw from Judea and Samaria – by 2017.
The draft resolution would have set a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final settlement and the end of 2017 as the time frame for completing an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.
The resolution was put to a vote in the UN Security Council late last year, but failed to secure enough votes in favor to pass. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas later said he would go to the UN again and try to have a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria imposed on Israel.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)