An estimated 40 Palestinians gathered in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Wednesday to demand the removal of a controversial UN resolution that would allow Israel to extend the occupation of Palestinian land.
The protesters called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to withdraw the resolution, which was drafted by the US-based International Campaign for Palestinian Rights (ICPR), and that all countries condemn the vote, which will allow Israel’s occupation of land in the West Bank to continue.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Abbas’s government to remove the resolution and called on his successor, President Shimon Peres, to do so, as well.
The Palestinian Authority is the custodian of the West Wall and the Jordan Valley, areas of land captured in 1967 under Israeli occupation.
It is the only country in the world that is technically part of Israel and controls the West bank and East Jerusalem.
The resolution was passed by the Security Council in January with the support of Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany, but has yet to be formally adopted.
The Palestinians want the international community to take a strong stance against the resolution.
Israel says the resolution is an obstacle to peace talks, which are already underway.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague has ruled in favour of the Palestinians in a case brought by the Israeli government against the court.
Israel has repeatedly accused the ICC of ignoring its obligations under the Hague Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The ICJ ruled in December that the ICC did not have jurisdiction to hear the case, as the Palestinians did not seek a trial.
In an interview with Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Abbas accused the US of “trying to turn the court into a court of war, an arbitrator who is not impartial”.
“We call on the US to withdraw its support for the UNSC and for the Palestinians to make it clear to all the international powers that we reject their actions,” Abbas said.
He also said the Palestinians had taken an important step towards ending their long-running conflict with Israel, which has left more than 120,000 Palestinians dead and forced some 500,000 people to flee their homes.
“We are moving towards a lasting peace agreement and we are determined to build a Palestinian state that will be in line with international law and our right to self-determination,” he said.
The PA said it would not remove the draft resolution from its website and that it was a “non-binding resolution”.
The US-sponsored resolution, approved by the UN General Assembly in November, would allow the UN to hold a peace conference in 2019 in Geneva, the West Jerusalem area and the Gaza Strip.
The ICC said on Thursday that it would consider the draft and would make a final decision by the end of the year.
In a statement, the ICC said it was “deeply concerned” by the vote and urged the Palestinians “to withdraw the draft.”
The Palestinians are also pressing for the removal in the UN of a separate resolution that calls on the Palestinians, and not Israel, to implement the Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, with Israel.
The Israeli government and many Palestinians see the Oslo accords as a pretext for the construction of settlements on occupied land and for a “right of return” for Jewish settlers who have fled to the West.
A UN report earlier this year found that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) had increased by more than 1,000 percent since 2000.
The settlements are illegal under international law.
Israel, which is seeking to retain the status quo ante, says the settlements are essential to the peace process.