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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs