News / Middle East

Israel Reveals Plans to Expand Settlements After UN Vote

FILE- In this March 14, 2011, file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit.  FILE- In this March 14, 2011, file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit.
x
FILE- In this March 14, 2011, file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit.
FILE- In this March 14, 2011, file photo, a general view of a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit.
VOA News
Israel has revealed plans to build 3,000 new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, following the Palestinian Authority's successful United Nations recognition bid.

Israeli officials, speaking to the media on condition of anonymity, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government had authorized the building plans, as well as preliminary zoning work in other areas of the West Bank.

The White House described the decision as "counterproductive," with spokesman Tommy Vieto saying these actions make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution.

The Israeli move has angered the Palestinians, who are celebrating a historic U.N. General Assembly vote upgrading the status of the Palestinian Authority to that of a non-member observer state.
 
Palestinians were especially cheered by the 138 U.N. members who voted in favor late Thursday.  They said it added legitimacy to their claim for Palestinian statehood and added weight to their position in peace negotiations with Israel.
 
Nine countries, including Israel and the United States, opposed the resolution.  Forty-one, including Britain and Germany, abstained, but the bid was endorsed by a large number of European Union members.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York, November 29, 2012.Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York, November 29, 2012.
x
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York, November 29, 2012.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York, November 29, 2012.
Israel denounced the decision.  Netanyahu dismissed the vote as meaningless, while Israel's U.N. ambassador, Ron Prosor, said the new status will not advance peace.

Washington, which also opposed the measure, voiced similar concerns.  The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, said the U.N. decision hinders the prospects of reaching durable peace in Israel.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday's vote underscores the urgency to return to negotiations, and called on both sides to return to the table.

The Vatican also welcomed the decision, calling for "an internationally guaranteed special statute" for Jerusalem, a comment bound to annoy Israel.

The new status does not establish a Palestinian state, but many Palestinians say they hope the move will bring a resumption of peace negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dr. Huntington from: UK
November 30, 2012 10:44 PM
the truth is that with the UN recognition of the "Palestinian" claim, the UN has lost all credibility... the whole structure is as corrupt as could be... so lets start all over again... the Palestinians will corrupt all they touch... including the ICC...


by: Truth be told. from: USA
November 30, 2012 8:27 PM
Often on the news we hear the terms "occupied territories", "1967 borders", and "illegal settlements". And the story we usually hear sounds very simple... During the six day war, Israel captured the West Bank from the Palestinians, refused the UN demand to retreat, and illegally built settlements, but is that really the case? Let's start with a simple but EXTREMELY IMPORTANT question: From whom did Israel capture the West Bank? From the Palestinians? NO! In 1967 there was NO Arab nation or state by the name of Palestine. Actually was there ever? So, who's territory is it? Until 1917 the Ottoman Empire occupied the whole region. After losing in WW1 the Ottomans relinquished their 500 year control to the allied forces which decided to divide the old empire into countries. Britain recognized the Jews historical right to their homeland. A small area equivalent to about half of 1% of the Middle East was designated for this purpose. however, do you realize what happened? The Jewish homeland not only included the West Bank, but also the East Bank of the Jordan River. I suppose you cannot say that the Jewish people have not accepted some painful compromises, already. With the British Mandate ending, UN general assembly resolution #181, recommended the establishment of two states; one Jewish and one Arab. The Jews accepted it and went on to create the nation of Israel in 1948. While the Arabs refused a compromise and launched a war to destroy the newly established nation. At the end of the war, a cease fire line was formed, (armistice line, 1949), and both sides stopped fighting. At the insistence of the Arab leaders, this line was defined as having NO political significance. So, although this line is commonly referred to as the "1967 border", it is NOT from 1967, and it was never an international border. Israel's presence in the West Bank is the result of self defense. The West Bank should not be considered "occupied", because there was no previous legal sovereign in the area. And therefore, the real definition should be "disputed" territory. The 1947 partition plan has no current legal standing, while Israel's claim to the land was clearly recognized by the international community during the 20th century.That is why the presence of Israeli settlements and construction in the West Bank should NOT be considered illegal. So what is the solution to the dispute over the West Bank? Fortunately the solution lies in God's Word, and His unbreakable covenants and promises to his chosen people. Any negotiations must be based on legal and historical FACTS. So stop using the so-called terms "illegal" and "occupied" territories," and "1967 borders". They are simply not politically correct or in agreement with Gods Word.

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
December 01, 2012 2:21 AM
I dont believe you. You jumped from 1917 to 1948 right way. What happened between those years? in 30 years, no any country took control of the vacuum territory? just waiting for Jews? You must lied about something.


by: Circular from: Ottawa
November 30, 2012 4:46 PM
Wow! What a surprise.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitcheni
X
September 22, 2014 11:42 AM
With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid