News / Middle East

Senior Palestinian Predicts Violence if Statehood Blocked at UN

A section of the controversial Israeli barrier is seen from Jerusalem and shows the Shuafat refugee camp (R) in the West Bank near Jerusalem, and Pisgat Zeev (L) in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war, May 25
A section of the controversial Israeli barrier is seen from Jerusalem and shows the Shuafat refugee camp (R) in the West Bank near Jerusalem, and Pisgat Zeev (L) in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war, May 25

Multimedia

A senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization - Hanan Ashrawi - says the Arab Spring events of the past few months have had a major impact on the Middle East, including the reconciliation of the rival Palestinian groups, Fatah and Hamas. But, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. Congress earlier this week that Israel will never talk peace with the Palestinians as long Hamas plays a leading role.

Political violence in Yemen. NATO airstrikes in Libya. Millions promised by the world's industrial giants for democratic change in the Middle East. All are elements of what's called the Arab Spring.

But there are no signs of spring between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government, backed by a Palestinian version of al-Qaida," said Netanyahu. He stressed to Congress there can be no peace talks if the militant Hamas group is part of the Palestinian leadership.


Yet that is what is needed, said Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. She said Palestinian unity demands that all groups be embraced in the government.

"Hamas belongs within this democratic pluralistic system, not as a substitute for it, or a replacement or an alternative," she said.

But any Hamas role is unacceptable to Israel. Jonathan Peled, spokesman for the Israeli embassy, said "Israel cannot be expected to sit down and negotiate with an organization that calls for its destruction."

In September, the United Nations General Assembly will consider a proposal to recognize Palestinian statehood. Ashrawi said that will lead to membership and its benefits within the international community.

"It means you get access - you have access to all the judicial accountability you need within the U.N. [United Nations] system," she said.  "And then, you have the recognition that you do have boundaries."

Peled predicts the U.S. and other countries won't allow it. "To go through the United Nations for recognition, is not the correct path. I think that is the strongest message that is coming out of this last week's visit."

That, Ashrawi said, would be a mistake. "If you block us from the U.N., from getting accountability from Israel, from trying to get protection for Palestinians, by peaceful means, by non-violent means, then it seems to me you leave us with the option of violence, as the only thing that works."

If so, the Arab Spring holds little promise of thaw between Israelis and Palestinians.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More