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UN Security Council calls for 'immediate and unconditional' ceasefire
Palestinian officials applaud UN settlements report
Published Thursday 31/01/2013 (updated) 01/02/2013 19:20
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A laborer works atop a roof at a construction site in the Jewish
settlement of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem.
(Reuters/Ronen Zvulun, File)

RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- Palestinian officials welcomed a UN Human Rights Council report on Thursday highly critical of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, saying it vindicated their struggle against Israel.

The UN investigation, which Israel boycotted, urged Israel to halt settlement construction unconditionally and begin removing all 500,000 Israeli settlers from occupied territory immediately.

"This is incredible. We are extremely heartened by this principled and candid assessment of Israeli violations," said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the PLO.

The UN report, issued in Geneva, said the settlements contravened the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory and could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

Last year the United Nations General Assembly granting Palestine de facto statehood in territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The enhanced diplomatic status gives Palestine access to many world bodies, including the ICC, and Palestinian leaders have said they might try to haul Israel before the court unless it halts the settlements and engages in meaningful negotiations.

"The report confirms and deepens the application of international law and shows that the law applies to all, and no one is above it," Palestinian government spokesperson Nour Odeh said.

Israel's foreign ministry condemned the report as "counterproductive and unfortunate," adding that the only way to resolve the dispute was through direct negotiations.

US-brokered talks between the two sides broke down in 2010 over the issue of settlement building. Palestinian leaders say they will not return to negotiations until the construction stops. Israel says there must be no preconditions.

Fatah, the party that holds sway over Palestinian-administered areas of the West Bank, said on Thursday that Israeli rights violations were undermining the chances of peace.

"(Fatah) does not see any real opportunity for the resumption of the peace process and negotiations with the continued policy of settlement expansion, especially in Jerusalem, which would destroy the principle of a two-state solution," it said in a statement.

"It rejects dubious schemes to end the Palestinian cause through any temporary state, or other solutions which detract from the right of our people to self-determination. The rules of conflict have changed."

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later annexed the territory, proclaiming the city as their "eternal and indivisible" capital. Palestinians want to create the capital of their own state in the eastern half of Jerusalem.

Israel has called the Palestinian maneuvers in international bodies "diplomatic terrorism", while President Mahmoud Abbas last week said a "legal, diplomatic war" in the UN arena was a fair option for his government.
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1 ) This, That, & / Change
31/01/2013 18:10
Palestinian officials applaud this UNHR settlements report, and
Palestinian officials applauded that UNGA Palestine resolution, and
Palestinian officials applause has lead to NO Changes for Palestine, and
ONLY Palestinian NEGOTIATIONS with Israel WILL LEAD TO REAL CHANGE.

2 ) Jane / Pr
31/01/2013 21:25
Sorry Israel! There is no reason for negotiation about something that is against the international law.

3 ) Julie / USA
31/01/2013 21:57
here's the full UN report (pdf): http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session19/FFM/FFMSettlements.pdf

4 ) DR / USA
31/01/2013 23:09
Diplomatic terrorism? Really!..WOW!

5 ) r cummings / UK
01/02/2013 00:22
Come off it 1), Israel has shown again and again that it is not prepared to negotiate on any substantive point at issue. It wants free land and water for Jews at the expense of Palestinians and will use theft, legal trickery, racist laws and sponsored violence to get it, knowing perfectly well that they are in violation of GC4 on 4 serious criminal counts. The world is wise now to the refrain that only direct negotiations can work, it is a stall while they steal ever more free land for Jews.

6 ) gabi / austalia
01/02/2013 02:01
# 1 - what's left to negotiate with? Israel has taken most of the West Bank already - and vows to get the rest. So what is this negotiation you speak about? What the Palestinians ask is for Israel to abide by International law. It seems that is too difficult for you to understand.

7 ) Giacomo / USA
01/02/2013 03:20
Another round of applause from the politburo, and no change in the plight of the Palestinian people. End your wakseh, unify if you can, hold democratic elections, elect a unity leader with an actual mandate from the Palestinian people, negotiate a sustainable peace agreement with Israel. After 9 defensive wars and 2 state-sponsored intifadas, the world is not going to risk security of the only stable ME democracy until you show you're ready. Everything else is just diplomatic rhetoric.

8 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
01/02/2013 20:28
Same old crap over and over ... so here we go, comment-by-comment: @ 1), Thank you (again) for your support but no, negotiations with us will NOT lead to any change; negotiations are totally useless (so PLEASE understand this from now on). @ 2), After the "Sorry, Israel," the first 6 words of your next sentence are all that's important. @ 3), WHATTA WOMAN !!! ... Thank you S-O-O-O-O-O Much !!! @ 5), Your first sentence is correct and the rest I've commented on before. @ 6), To (cont.)

9 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
01/02/2013 20:41
answer your question stated at the very beginning of your post (which is the main theme): Answer: Absolutely nothing. Not a damn thing. @ 7), I also thank you for your support but despite the logic in what you recommend (democratic Palestinian elections; "unity" leader with mandate; sustainable peace agreement, etc.) all that really would still make no difference. We are in the process of annexing the State of Palestine no matter what.

10 ) @ Gabi-6 / USA
01/02/2013 23:47
- It may be true, that "Israel has taken most of the West Bank" and "Israel holds all the cards" (former US ambasdor to Israel), BUT - you and PLO leaders can pretend forever, that a UNGA resolution, or a UNHR urging, can make Palestine a reality, but until There will be NO Real PALESTINE, until Negotiations are completed, and - there are NO "International laws to abide by," that relate specifically to creating a Palestinian state, Nor protecting a sovereignty it never had !!!

11 ) @ Giacomo-7 / USA too
01/02/2013 23:52
It would be nice if the Pals could "unify, hold elections, & elect a unity leader", but ONLY "an actual negotiated peace agreement with Israel", (or a military victory) will ever lead to real statehood for Palestinians !!

12 ) Phil / UK
03/02/2013 21:00
#6) Once again, you see the cup half empty, when it actual fact its half full. Pals had no self determination when the WB was occupied by Jordan. Now, since Israel liberated them from oppressive Jordanian rule (remember all those who died during Arafat's failed coup) they have more self determination than they have had since the day they crossed over from Edom.
Unfortunately, they will never be satisfied, because Israel won't slip into the sea, thereby giving them what they really want.

13 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
03/02/2013 23:50
Same old crap over and over ... so here we go, comment-by-comment: @ 1), Thank you (again) for your support but no, negotiations with us will NOT lead to any change; negotiations are totally useless (so PLEASE understand this from now on). @ 2), After the "Sorry, Israel," the first 6 words of your next sentence are all that's important. @ 3), WHATTA WOMAN !!! ... Thank you S-O-O-O-O-O Much !!! @ 5), Your first sentence is correct and the rest I've commented on before. @ 6), To (cont.)

14 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
03/02/2013 23:51
answer your question stated at the very beginning of your post (which is the main theme): Answer: Absolutely nothing. Not a damn thing. @ 7), I also thank you for your support but despite the logic in what you recommend (democratic Palestinian elections; "unity" leader with mandate; sustainable peace agreement, etc.) all that really would still make no difference. We are in the process of annexing the State of Palestine no matter what.
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