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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora