News / Middle East

Palestinians Vow to Press Full Statehood Drive at UN

French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes a point during his address to the 66th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 21, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes a point during his address to the 66th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 21, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio

Senior Palestinian officials say they will not back away from plans to apply for full statehood in the U.N. Security Council on Friday despite pressure from the United States and Europe. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday Palestinians should, for the time being, accept upgraded U.N. observer status and return to direct peace talks with Israel.

The Palestinians are facing heavy pressure to shelve their U.N. membership bid, including an admonition from U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday that the “short cut” of U.N. action will bring neither statehood nor self-determination.

But top Palestinian officials insist that full U.N. member status would strengthen their hand in eventual negotiations with Israel to end  its West Bank “occupation,” and that Palestinian authority needs action to preserve its political credibility.

Speaking after Mr. Obama’s U.N. General Assembly speech, veteran Palestinian official Nabil Sha’ath said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will ask U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Friday for a statehood vote in the U.N. Security Council.

He said a parallel request for elevated observer status in the U.N. General Assembly would suggest the Palestinians aren’t really serious about their statehood aspirations.

“We will give it real try," said Sha’ath. "We’re not bluffing. We’ll really give it a real try. And if we fail, we will keep knocking at the door of the Security Council later. But when do we go to the General Assembly? It is a decision that has not been made yet. Most likely we will, but when is a decision has not been made yet.”

Listen to US President Barack Obama's remarks on Israel-Palestinians:

IThe United States and European allies fear that a statehood bid in the Security Council, that would face a certain U.S. veto, would inflame Middle East tensions and set back peace hopes.

Members of the U.S. Congress have threatened to cut funding to the Palestinians, and even the United Nations itself, if statehood advances in the Security Council.

In a General Assembly speech widely seen as a compromise effort, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed that Palestinians be given upgraded observer status while setting out a roadmap for direct talks with Israel to be concluded within a year.

“Let us begin negotiations and adopt a precise and ambitious timetable," said President Sarkozy. "Sixty years without moving one centimeter forward. Doesn’t that suggest we should change the method and scheduling here? Let’s have one month to resume discussions. Six months to find an agreement on borders and security. One year to reach a definitive agreement.”

President Obama told the assembly “there is no shortcut” to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that peace will not come through U.N. statements or resolutions.

Later in bilateral meeting with Mr. Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said standing with Israel and supporting direct talks is a badge of honor for the United States.

“I think the Palestinians want to achieve a state through the international community, but they’re not prepared yet to give peace to Israel in return," said Prime Minister Netanyahu. "And my hope is that there will be other leaders in the world, responsible leaders, who will heed your call, Mr. President, and oppose this effort to shortcut peace negotiations - in fact, to avoid them.  Because I think that avoiding these negotiations is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians, and bad for peace.”

The Israeli prime minister has said he is ready to meet Mr. Abbas this week in New York to resume direct peace talks without preconditions.  

Palestinian spokesman Sha’ath, however dismissed the Netanyahu offer as theatrics. He said the Palestinians would resume the stalled talks tomorrow, if Israel would show good faith by freezing settlement activity and ending the siege of Gaza.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs