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Israel Welcomes, Palestinians Condemn US Veto of International Observers - 2001-12-15


Israel has welcomed, but the Palestinians have condemned, the veto by the United States of a proposed resolution in the U.N. Security Council urging that international observers be sent to monitor the conflict in the Middle East.

Government spokesman Ra'anan Gissin says Israel welcomes the U.S. veto. Mr. Gissin's said "Monitors have never stopped terror activities. They have only complicated the situation."

Palestinians "strongly condemned" the veto.

Senior negotiator Nabil Sha'ath says the move proves that the United States is now "part of the aggression against the Palestinians."

An adviser to Chairman Yasser Arafat, Nabil Abu Rudeina, says the veto will reinforce Israel's military escalation in the Palestinian territories.

The draft resolution also sought to support Mr. Arafat, days after Israel cut contacts with the Palestinian leader calling him "irrelevant," after an upsurge in violence in recent weeks.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte says he vetoed the proposal because it did not mention "recent acts of terrorism against Israelis or those responsible for them."

Palestinians have repeatedly called on the international community to send observers to monitor the current conflict, a move Israel has always opposed.

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