31 Oct 2015

Russia backs NZ resolution on Israel conflict

7:22 pm on 31 October 2015

An Israeli newspaper says a draft New Zealand resolution on the Middle East has won support from Russia, one of five permanent representatives on the Security Council, who all have a veto.

An Israeli left-wing activist holds a banner bearing images of the Israeli and Palestinian flags during a rally demanding fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

An Israeli left-wing activist holds a banner bearing images of the Israeli and Palestinian flags during a rally demanding fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks Photo: AFP

New Zealand has used its two-year term on the council to draft a resolution calling for Israel to halt settlements in the occupied territories and the Palestinians to stop taking cases to the International Criminal Court.

The draft said a two-state solution, achieved through direct negotiations, was the only path to peace.

It also called for both sides to refrain from provocative gestures and not to demonise each other with hostile rhetoric.

The newspaper, Haaretz, quoted Russia's United Nations Ambassador Vitaly Churkin as saying the Security Council should seriously look at the New Zealand proposal.

However, Haaretz said Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon has dismissed the draft as being destructive, not constructive.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour supported New Zealand's efforts but he said the resolution did not address the need for Palestinian civilians to be protected, the newspaper said.

If the draft goes to the vote, it will be the first time the Security Council has voted on the Middle East in six years.

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