Palestinians May Drag Israel to International Court Over Settlements

Threaten Action on Growing Occupation at U.N.

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By Reuters

Published January 24, 2013.
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E1 covers some 12 square km (4.6 square miles) and is considered particularly important because it not only juts into the narrow “waist” of the West Bank, but also backs onto East Jerusalem, where Palestinians want to establish their capital.

Approximately 500,000 Israelis and 2.5 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United Nations deems all Israeli settlements in the West Bank to be illegal. 

‘STATE OF PALESTINE’

U.N. Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry, told the 15-nation Security Council settlements were contrary to international law and “increasingly an obstacle to peace.” But he also warned the Palestinians against pursuing international action.

The council meeting on the Middle East represented its first public debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the Palestinian U.N. status upgrade. Malki and a number of council members referred to the “State of Palestine” in their speeches.

The words “State of Palestine” were also emblazoned on the name plate for the Palestinian delegation.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice made clear to the council that such public references to the “State of Palestine” do not make it a sovereign state.

“Any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’ in the United Nations, including the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ in the invitation … do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state,” she said.

The United States, Israel and seven other members of the 193-nation General Assembly voted against the Palestinian U.N. status upgrade in November.

The White House on Wednesday renewed its call for a resumption of long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the wake of Israeli elections in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged the winner but with a weaker-than-expected showing for his right-wing bloc.


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