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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora