Revival of Israel, Palestine talks sought

  • 30/10/2015

New Zealand has circulated the text of its draft UN resolution aimed at getting the Middle East peace process back on track to members of the Security Council.

The move comes after Foreign Minister Murray McCully last week said more needs to be done to "jump-start" direct talks between Israel and Palestine.

The draft resolution calls on Israel and Palestine to end the violence, prepare for peace talks and declares the two-state solution to be the "only credible pathway to peace", Agence France Presse reports.

But it also deals with two particularly sensitive issues: Jewish settlements and the Palestinian push to prosecute Israel for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

The draft resolution asks both sides to refrain from action that could undermine peace efforts, "including continued expansion of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied territories".

It also seeks a halt to "referring a situation concerning Israel or the occupied Palestinian territories to the ICC".

Mr McCully last week said he hopes New Zealand's draft resolution will at least "stimulate a level of debate and engagement that will result in the council being able to chart a way forward".

New Zealand's move comes after France failed to get agreement from other Security Council members for its draft council statement.

The Security Council hasn't adopted a resolution on the Israel-Palestine peace process since 2009.

When New Zealand took over the rotating presidency of the Security Council in July, Prime Minister John Key said he wanted to get Israel and Palestine back around the table.

"New Zealand is among a relatively small group that enjoys excellent relations with both Israel and Palestine," he said.

"While I accept it's a big challenge, to find peace between Israel and Palestine, the prize is so significant, it's got to be worth it if we can."