Editor’s Note – In a continued ploy to find ways to exert force on Israel, the UN upgraded the Palestinian Authority over the West Bank and Gaza when the PA acted unilaterally. This likely sets any peace agreement back and elevates the PA to use international pressure as it gains standing with international agencies. Again, its not about land or peace but the goal of eliminating Israel altogether.
To understand more precisely, Mahmoud Abbas declared that Jerusalem is its “Eternal Capital” – how’s that for a peace overture?
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday endorsed an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.
The resolution elevates their status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state,” the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.
Its leaders had been working with dozens of supporting nations to develop a formal draft, enlisting the backing of European countries such as France and Spain. The vote was 138 delegates in favor of the measure, nine against and 41 abstentions, including Germany. (Read the rest at CNN.)
From Aljazeera, the response by the people in Gaza and the West Bank:
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have celebrated the UN General Assembly vote accepting Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in New York. Nine countries voted against the Palestine upgrade, which was approved by the General Assembly with 138 votes on Thursday. Fourty-one countries abstained.
Voting “no” were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The mood overnight on the streets of Ramallah was jubilant, but not all Palestinians believe that UN recognition will change anything on the ground.
Watch videos of the response in Ramallah and Gaza.
Meanwhile, Israel responds with sanctions:
Israel is retaliating for Thursday’s United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, announcing it will withhold $120 million in taxes and customs collected for the Palestinian Authority to pay debts to Israeli companies.
In a unanimous resolution passed Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet said it would not negotiate on the basis of the General Assembly’s recognition of a state of Palestine in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
“The unilateral step taken by the Palestinians at the United Nations violates peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, justifying Israel’s rejection of the U.N. vote. The only way to Palestinian statehood and peace is through direct negotiations with Israel, he said.
Abbas ‘Victory Speech’: Jerusalem ‘Eternal Capital of Palestine’
PA Chairman promises that someday the PA flag will fly over “Jerusalem, eternal capital of the state of Palestine.”
By Chana Ya’ar – Arutz Sheva
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Sunday promised someday the PAflag would fly over “Jerusalem, eternalcapital of the state of Palestine.”
Thousands of people greeted Abbas rapturously upon his return from the United Nations, where the GeneralAssembly granted the PLO, representing the PA, upgraded status as a nonmember observer state.
“Raise your heads high, because you are Palestinians!” Abbas told the joyous crowd, waving PA flags in the PA capital of Ramallah, located in Samaria.
“You have proof that you are stronger than the occupation, because you are Palestinians… stronger than the settlements, because you are Palestinians.
“We were threatened with punishment and sanctions from various sides,” Abbas continued, in a reference to attempts by the United States and Israel to dissuade him from proceeding with the application.
“And if we had listened to those threats we wouldn’t have gone to the U.N.
“One day, a young Palestinian will raise the Palestinian flag over Jerusalem,” he vowed, “the eternal capital of the state of Palestine!”