RAMALLAH, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Palestinians are pushing with sizable effort at the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank by year end, Palestinian officials said on Wednesday.
Riad Mansour, the Palestinian representative at the UN, told the Palestinian official radio station the Palestinian delegation is restlessly working with all parties at the UNSC to finish the draft resolution and submit it before the end of 2016.
Mansour added that there is nearly a consensus by UNSC that settlement activity is illegal and a hinder to the peace track, underlining that this is the right time to pass this resolution before the membership of closely friendly states expires.
The issue of settlements is considered one of the most complicates issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and a reason for freezing peace talks between the two sides.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said Wednesday that the Palestinian side is determined to submit the resolution for voting before the end of the year.
"We are working with all our efforts to finalize that," said Malki in radio statements, hoping to get support from Arab states to finalize this mission.
He explained that "we are not seeking nine votes only, but for the 15 votes and this is why we are talking to permanent members, including Britain and the U.S., about that."
The top Palestinian diplomat said "we requested from Britain and the U.S. to give their comments on the draft resolution that was previously distributed in order to see if it was possible to include their comments, and in that case, we might get the votes of 15 member states in favor of the resolution."
He added that the Palestinians are trying to avoid the veto as much as possible.
The Arab Quartet convened in Cairo last Monday and formed a new three-way committee to contact UNSC member states to know their final responses regarding the draft resolution against Israeli settlements.
The committee is composed of Egypt, the current Arab member state at the UNSC, Tunis, the chair of the Arab group at the UN in New York, and Palestine.
The draft resolution calls for "stopping all settlement activity immediately and honor full legal obligations, and avoiding violence, terrorism, destruction and provocations by settlements, especially against Palestinian civilians and their property."
It also calls for punishment of "perpetrators committing illegal actions" and for both parties to work in line with international law and former obligations to maintain calm and self-restraint, and cessation of provocative action, threat and incitement rhetoric with the aim of putting down tensions."
In order for the resolution to pass, at least nine member states must vote in favor, provided none of the permanent members states uses the veto.
Political Science lecturer at Al-Quds University Ahmad Rafiq Awad said the Palestinian venture in that direction at this time is required because the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has nothing to lose.
Awad told Xinhua that in light if the continuation of the Israeli government's settlement activity and the impasse in the peace process, the PNA has nothing to do or lose except complain to the UNSC, especially that it is part of its political program and strategy to take diplomatic and political confrontation with Israel.
The West Bank-based scientist anticipated that the current American administration, which has previously stood by Israeli settlement activity, would strike the Israeli policy in a sudden move, highlighting the possibility of succeeding in convincing big states like Britain and France to vote in favor or at least abstain.
In December 2014, an Arab backed draft resolution calling for the end of the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories by 2017 failed to get the nine necessary votes to pass.
The resolution back then called for a negotiated peace settlement based on the two-state solution and the 1967 border, honoring security agreements and Jerusalem as a capital for both states.
It also called for halting any unilateral moves that would undermine the two-state solution, including settlement construction.