UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The Palestinian U.N. envoy accused Israel on Friday of carrying out “an immediate provocation” following the U.N.’s recognition of the state of Palestine by announcing the expansion of settlements which he denounced as illegal.
Israel accused the Palestinians of bypassing direct negotiations by seeking recognition as a state, and less than 24 hours after the vote the government approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements on Israeli-occupied lands. The Palestinians have insisted that settlement building stop before negotiations resume.
“They are trying to provoke us to react _ I don’t know in which way,” Riyad Mansour told the General Assembly.
Mansour said the Palestinians “will continue to extend our hand in peace,” but warned that more provocations would be “testing our resolve” and could lead to unspecified actions.
Diplomats in the General Assembly chamber burst into applause when Mansour was called on to speak following the annual adoption of five Palestinian-related resolutions and one on the Golan Heights.
Sitting behind a nameplate saying “State of Palestine” for the first time, Mansour called Thursday’s overwhelming vote in the assembly to raise the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state historic for his people and the United Nations.
Mansour said Israeli settlement building, attacks like the recent bombings in Gaza and violations of international law and Palestinian rights must be stopped immediately.
In pressing for the statehood resolution, Mansour said the Palestinians were contributing to saving the two-state solution where Israel and Palestine can live side by side in peace, and to opening doors for the possibility of creating an atmosphere conducive to negotiations with Israel that would end the occupation that started in 1967 and “allow for the independence of our state.”
He said the choice is up to Israel.
“If they want to move in the direction of peace, the message of our president was crystal clear yesterday,” Mansour said. “Again, our hand is extended in peace but we need the other side to reciprocate in the same spirit.”
Abbas signaled that he wanted U.N. recognition as a state to give him leverage in future talks with Israel, and not as a tool for confronting or delegitimizing Israel, as Israeli leaders have claimed. He said his aim is to try “to breathe new life into the negotiations” and he promised that the Palestinians “will act responsibly and positively in our next steps.”
Mansour concluded his remarks to the General Assembly saying: “Again, our hand is extended in peace but we need the other side to reciprocate in the same spirit.”
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Water tips to save money, help save the Earth
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life
- 5 potential warning signs about your child's development