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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid