After 18 hours of wrangling, the Security Council was deadlocked early Thursday over last-minute PLO demands on a resolution condemning Israel for "excessive" use of force in the Temple Mount killings.
"We have a couple of issues still to be settled," U.S. Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering said as weary representatives broke up a series of meetings at 4 a.m. Exiting Palestine Liberation Organization officials declined to comment.The PLO had suddenly insisted that the United Nations assume some responsibility for the safety and welfare of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war.
"That's not a resolution we can support in there, you all know that," Pickering said during the bargaining.
The United States' earlier decision to join in denouncing Israel - its traditionally close Middle East ally - had already outraged Jewish groups, which flooded the U.S. Mission to the United Nations with phone calls.
Agreement on the Temple Mount resolution had appeared at hand late Wednesday after U.S. diplomats agreed to temper criticism of Palestinians involved in the confrontation that led to Monday's killings.
Nineteen Palestinians were killed and 140 wounded by Israeli forces that opened fire on Arabs who were pelting Jewish worshipers with stones. More than 20 Israelis were injured.