News / Middle East

Palestinians, Israelis Divided Over UN Decision

Palestinians celebrate during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 29, 2012.
Palestinians celebrate during a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, November 29, 2012.
Scott Bobb
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip celebrated into the early hours Friday morning after the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the Palestinian Authority's bid to upgrade its status to that of a non-member observer state.
 
Palestinians said the large number of U.N. members, 138, that voted for them Thursday, added legitimacy to their claim for statehood. They say the vote adds weight to their position in the peace negotiations with Israel.
 
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an exhibition marking 35 years since Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's visit to Israel, Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem, Nov. 29, 2012.Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an exhibition marking 35 years since Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's visit to Israel, Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem, Nov. 29, 2012.
x
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an exhibition marking 35 years since Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's visit to Israel, Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem, Nov. 29, 2012.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to an exhibition marking 35 years since Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's visit to Israel, Menachem Begin Heritage Center, Jerusalem, Nov. 29, 2012.
Nine states, including Israel and the United States, opposed the resolution. Forty-one, including Britain and Germany, abstained. The bid was endorsed by a large number of European Union members.
 
On Friday in East Jerusalem, Muslim worshippers streamed through Damascus gate for prayers. The mood seemed relaxed. Israeli security forces were present but less visible than on most Fridays.
 
Palestinians hopeful
 
Retired Palestinian Authority civil servant Mohammed Faqih said while the vote did not change much for daily Palestinian life, it was still cause for celebration. He said he found joy in that it is the first time the international community has recognized Palestinians' right to statehood.
 
Story continues below
 
  • Palestinians celebrate the U.N. General Assembly votes on a resolution to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a nonmember observer state, Gaza City, November 29, 2012.
  • Palestinians rally while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's speech is projected on Israel's controversial barrier in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, November 29, 2012.
  • Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah, occupied West Bank, November 29, 2012.
  • UN Palestinian Status
  • Palestinians celebrate as they watch a screen showing the U.N. General Assembly vote on a resolution to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a non-member observer state, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 29, 2012.

Fruit juice vendor Ibrahim Abdullah said it brought hope for the future. He said he hopes this will bring some good and that the situation in the Mideast will remain peaceful and quiet.
 
Palestinian UN Statehood Vote
 
  • Palestinians won non-member observer state status 
  • They previously had non-member observer entity status 
  • The new status allows Palestinians to participate in General Assembly debates 
  • State status lets Palestinians apply to join the International Criminal Court and other U.N. agencies
  • A Palestinian bid to gain full U.N. membership failed in 2011
Many Palestinians said they hoped the vote would bring a resumption of peace negotiations with Israel that have been stalled for months.

But a local leader of the Palestinian Fatah movement, Abu Daoud, said the vote accomplished little because he believes land currently controlled by Israel belongs to the Palestinians.
 
"I am very happy the nations [of the world] spoke to us and [recognized] our rights," he said. "But our right is Tel Aviv."
 
Israeli dismay
 
Many Israelis see the U.N. action as furthering divisions.
 
In West Jerusalem, an Israeli student named Irma — who does not want to use her last name — said the U.N. decision worried her because it will strengthen militant Palestinians.
 
"They will have more power and they will attack us more and more," she said. "And there will be a war, or something."
 
A few hours before Thursday's U.N. vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would not affect the stalemated peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
 
He said Israelis should not overreact because no matter how many hands are raised against Israel, there is no force in the world that can push him to compromise on the security of Israel.
 
But Israeli documentary filmmaker Noam Kuzar does not agree.
 
"I think the government policy does not reflect what all the people want," he said. "The people just want to live their daily lives, to have their own security and salary and education and health. And other than that the politicians are talking high but not promoting things on the ground."

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: NVO from: USA
November 30, 2012 11:40 PM
The UN is a SHAM!!!! This CORRUPT organization has accomplished NOTHING since its beginnings. They are a New World Order group in support of a One World Government. Beware of them!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs