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Why Palestinians failed at the Security Council

The Palestinians' push for a near-unanimous UN Security Council resolution opposing the Trump plan ran into a number of unexpected roadblocks.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 11: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas listens at the United Nations (UN) Security Council in New York on February 11, 2020 in New York City. Abbas used the world body to denounce the US peace plan between Israel and Palestine. Donald Trump's proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace, which was released on January 28, has been met with  universal Palestinian opposition. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

For a moment, it appeared that the Palestinians were on a roll in confronting the US-Israeli deal announced in Washington on Jan. 28. At a Feb. 1 emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, they had succeeded in obtaining unanimous rejection of the plan and procured similar resolutions from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Feb. 3 and the African Union on Feb. 11. Their strategy was for the counter-offensive to culminate in New York with a tough speech by President Mahmoud Abbas on Feb. 11 and a near-unanimous vote by the Security Council on a resolution opposing the plan at the council's mandated quarterly session.

The Palestinians realized that their motion would be met with a US veto, but they wanted to isolate the Americans with a 14-1 vote. The plan fell apart largely because of a self-imposed time constraint of syncing a vote with Abbas' speech as well as pressure from a US counter-campaign.

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