News / Middle East

Palestinians, Syria Criticize Israeli Land Bill

An ultra-orthodox Jewish man walks near the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, 22 Nov 2010
An ultra-orthodox Jewish man walks near the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, 22 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with David Makovsky, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

TEXT SIZE - +

Palestinian and Syrian officials are criticizing a new bill passed by Israel's parliament that would make it difficult for Israel to withdraw from the captured territories of East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights.

The legislation, approved Monday, requires two-thirds of parliament approve any withdrawal from those areas, considered crucial to peace negotiations with the Palestinians and Syrians.

If parliamentary approval is not given, withdrawal from either territory would become subject to a national referendum.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat denounced the measure as "a mockery of international law."  

In a statement Tuesday, the Syrian foreign ministry said the bill "changes nothing" regarding Syria's claim to the Golan Heights.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria and East Jerusalem from Jordan during the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War in 1967.

David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, comments on the Israeli legislation:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a referendum on a future peace deal would prevent an irresponsible agreement and provide strong public support for an accord that will answer Israel's national security interests.

U.S.-mediated direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down after an Israeli settlement freeze expired in September. Palestinians oppose construction on land they want as part of a future state.

On Tuesday, a senior United Nations official said U.S. efforts to re-start talks had reached a "critical phase."  Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe said the current effort will determine if a resumption of talks is possible. He commented at a U.N. Security Council session on the Middle East.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid