Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘State of Palestine’

Poll: Israelis, Palestinians Back Two-State Deal.


RAMALLAH, West Bank — A poll suggests a majority of Israelis and Palestinians supports the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, but remains suspicious of the other side.

The survey was released Wednesday, hours before Secretary of State John Kerry‘s return to the region. Kerry is trying to forge agreement on the outlines of a peace deal, but gaps remain.

In the poll, 63 percent of 601 Israelis and 53 percent of 1,270 Palestinians surveyed said they back a two-state solution. Support dropped to 54 percent and 46 percent, respectively, when respondents were asked about specifics of a two-state deal.

The Israeli poll, by an Israeli university, had an error margin of 4.5 percentage points. The Palestinian survey, by a West Bank think tank, had an error margin of 3 percentage points.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Palestine’s Abbas: Israel to Blame If Talks Collapse Over Borders.


Image: Palestine's Abbas: Israel to Blame If Talks Collapse Over Borders

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned Tuesday Israel would be to blame if ongoing peace talks collapsed over its military control of a border with Jordan.

“We will not accept it, and if they [the talks] collapse, they [the Israelis] will be the reason for the collapse, not us,” Abbas told the Baltic News Service during a visit to Lithuania, current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency.

Israeli daily Maariv reported last week that negotiations almost collapsed in September due to conflicting positions on future borders, particularly where the eastern West Bank adjoins Jordan.

Israel has long stated that it seeks to retain a long-term military presence along the Jordan Valley.

But Palestinians flatly object to any Israeli military on land that could become the eastern front of a future Palestinian state.

“They don’t have the right to stay in our territories after we signed a peace treaty,” Abbas said Tuesday, while stressing that he accepts a future demilitarized Palestinian state.

“We want, according to the Oslo Agreement, a strong police force. This is exactly what we want, how we understand, how they understand, how the Americans understand it,” the Palestinian leader said.

Abbas also hailed the European Union’s (EU’s)demand on Monday that Israel stop building settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Construction starts in Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land rose by 70 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2013, anti-settlement group Peace Now said last week.

Speaking for the 28-member EU, Lithuania said Monday that settlements were impeding the peace process.

“They [EU countries] will implement their proposal [addressing the settlements] at the beginning of 2014, which is very, very important for the peace process,” Abbas added, terming this a “strong signal to Israel”.

Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War is considered illegal under international law, and the issue remains one of the most divisive in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S.-sponsored direct peace talks resumed in late July after a hiatus of nearly three years.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the talks, taking place under a US-imposed media blackout, have “intensified.”

© AFP 2013

Source: NEWSmax.com

Israel Wants Dozens of Jewish Settlements, Military Bases in West Bank.


RAMALLAH, West Bank  — Israel has proposed leaving intact dozens of Jewish settlements and military bases in the West Bank as part of a package to establish a Palestinian state in provisional borders, a Palestinian official told The Associated Press on Wednesday, in the first detailed glimpse at recently relaunched peace talks.

The official said the proposal is unacceptable to the Palestinians, underscoring the tough road ahead as the sides try to reach an agreement ending decades of conflict.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Israel and the Palestinians have pledged to Secretary of State John Kerry not to discuss the content of their talks with the media — a pledge that has largely held up until now.

For their future state, the Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposed to a return to the pre-1967 lines, the idea of a Palestinian state in temporary borders has gained appeal with the Israelis.

Such a deal could give the Palestinians independence, while leaving the thorniest issues, such as the fate of Jerusalem and the status of millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendants, to later negotiations.

The Palestinians reject any notion of a provisional agreement, fearing that a temporary arrangement that falls short of their dreams will become permanent.

Talks resumed in late July after a nearly five-year break stemming largely from Israeli settlement construction. The Palestinians have objected to Israeli construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians say these settlements, now home to more than 500,000 Israelis, make it increasingly difficult to partition the land between two people.

After months of U.S. mediation, the Palestinians agreed to resume talks. Although Israel did not pledge to freeze settlement construction, U.S. officials have said they expect both sides to avoid provocative moves. Negotiators have been quietly meeting once or twice a week for the past month or so.

The Palestinian official said formal talks on borders have not yet started, and that negotiations have focused on security matters. He said the Israelis want to retain control of the West Bank’s border with Jordan, keep early-warning stations on hilltops, and retain military bases near the Jordanian border.

“Israel is using the issue of security to take land,” he said. “From the general discussions we had in the last couple of weeks, the Israelis have shown no intention to dismantle any settlement.” He said the current proposals indicated that Israel would seek to retain control over about 40 percent of the West Bank.

“They said, ‘Let’s discuss a state with provisional borders.’ We said, ‘Let’s agree on a state based on the 1967 borders first, and then we can agree on having this state in phases.”

In the previous round of talks, conducted in 2008 under then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israel offered to withdraw from roughly 94 percent of the West Bank, and compensate the Palestinians with the equivalent of 6 percent through a “land swap” that would allow Israel to keep major settlements.

Olmert also proposed international administration of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

The official said the Palestinians have proposed resuming peace talks from the point they broke off. Netanyahu has said he is not obligated to accept Olmert’s proposals.

A senior Israeli official refused comment on the Israeli proposal, citing the commitment to keep the talks secret.

“It was agreed between the sides that all public discussion about the negotiations would be through the Americans,” the Israeli official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media about the issue.

Netanyahu’s office declined comment, citing the pledge not to discuss the negotiations in public. Likewise, there was no immediate U.S. comment.

In a statement released for the Jewish new year holiday that began Wednesday evening, Netanyahu said he hoped the talks would succeed.

“We seek to advance peace with the Palestinians while maintaining our security and ensuring that the peace will be a real and enduring peace. Not a ceremony, not an agreement that we celebrate for two minutes and then collapse,” the statement said. “We want a real, genuine and enduring peace and this must be anchored in recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and in our security. This is what ultimately is needed.”

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, would not discuss the specifics of the talks. But speaking on the Voice of Palestine radio station, he said, “Until now, there are no signs of progress. The Israeli position has not changed. It’s the one that we know on the ground, through daily settlement expansion.”

He urged the United States to put pressure on Israel. Otherwise, he said, “there will be no progress.”

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli police arrested seven Palestinians after clashes between stone-throwing demonstrators and Israeli security forces in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the clashes erupted when about 300 Palestinians tried to block a group of visitors from reaching a sensitive hilltop compound revered by both Jews and Muslims. He says masked demonstrators began to throw stones, prompting security forces to move in.

He says some demonstrators sought refuge inside the nearby Al Aqsa Mosque. Police did not enter the mosque, and no one was injured.

The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, is the holiest site in Judaism. Known to Muslims as the “Noble Sanctuary,” it is Islam’s third-holiest site.

Rosenfeld said security has been heightened for the Jewish New Year holiday.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Google ‘Recognizes’ Palestine.


Image: Google 'Recognizes' Palestine

The Palestinian homepage of Google’s search engine reads “Palestine” at an Internet cafe in east Jerusalem on May 3.

Google is de facto recognizing a state of Palestine.

Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said on Friday that Google had decided to change the name of the Palestinian Territories to just “Palestine” in its products.

He says Google consults with various sources and authorities when naming countries, and in this case is following the lead of several international organizations.

The move comes after a U.N. decision last year upgrading the Palestinians‘ status to “non-member observer state.”

Israel says Palestinian statehood should be reached through negotiations not unilateral moves.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says Google is not a diplomatic entity which begs the question of why it is getting involved in a controversial international political issue.

Latest: Do You Support the NRA on Gun Rights? Vote in Urgent Poll
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Cyprus Gives State Of Palestine Full Diplomatic Status.


State of Palestine

Cyprus has given the “state of Palestine” an embassy, even though it still says that a “Palestinian state” needs to be established through negotiations with Israel. AFP reported Cyprus said on Friday it has upgraded its relations with the Palestinian Authority to full diplomatic mission status, one of just eight European Union countries to do so.

state-of-palestine-passport-stamp-2013

The decision was announced by the Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis during an official visit by the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki.

“I informed my Palestinian counterpart of the decision of the government to upgrade the status of the Palestinian diplomatic representation in Cyprus from that of a Diplomatic Mission to that of an Embassy of the State of Palestine,” Marcoullis told reporters, according to AFP.

She said that this “important decision” was in line with the recognition of a Palestinian state in 1988 by Cyprus, and follows seven other EU members that have recognized a Palestinian State — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

A Cyprus Representation Office opened in Ramallah in 2009.

Malki said the decision sent a “very important message,” adding, “We hope this courageous step taken by Cyprus will be taken by others in the European Union.”

The PA’s ambassador to Nicosia, Walid Al-Hassan, told AFP, “Now we have diplomatic representation in Cyprus like any other country in the world. This applies to our legal situation and the immunity which accompanies diplomatic status.”

On November 29, Cyprus also voted in favor of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s bid for upgraded UN General Assembly status.

“All official correspondence will now be done in the name of the State of Palestine. Cyprus is the first European state to upgrade Palestinian status since the UN vote,” Hassan told AFP.

Marcoullis said Cyprus expressed “full support” for resolving aspirations for Palestinian statehood and sovereignty and those of Israel for security, through a comprehensive negotiated peace based on a two-state solution.

Nicosia backs an enhanced EU role in efforts for renewed and substantial peace efforts in 2013.

In the months that have passed since the UN vote, Abbas has taken several steps to officially name the areas he controls “the State of Palestine”. He first ordered all of the PA’s institutions to stop using the term ”Palestinian National Authority” on official documents and replace it with the term ‘the State of Palestine’.

Abbas then issued new guidelines ordering the PA government to re-issue passports,identity cards, registration documents, vehicle licenses, driver’s licenses, stamps and postmarks.

Abbas’s new guidelines dictate that a new emblem which reads “the State of Palestine” be placed on all re-issued documents. The PA’s Minister of Communication said last month that the first stamp to carry the name “State of Palestine” will be issued for the benefit of PA diplomatic officesabroad. source – Israel National News

by NTEB News Desk

Palestinians say they may have no choice but to take Israel to Hague court.


UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The Palestinians declared Wednesday that they will have no choice but to complain about Israel to the International Criminal Court if the Jewish state proceeds with plans to build housing on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the Middle East, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said his government’s decision will largely depend on what the Israelis do with the so-called “E1” area outside the Arab suburbs of East Jerusalem.

“If Israel would like to go further by implementing the E1 (settlement) plan and the other related plans around Jerusalem then yes, we will be going to the ICC,” he said. “We have no other choice. It depends on the Israeli decision.”

The Palestinians have previously suggested that bringing their various disputes with Israel to the Hague-based court was an option, but Malki’s remarks on Wednesday were the most direct threat his government has made against the Jewish state to date.

The International Criminal Court prosecutes charges of genocide, war crimes and other major human rights violations. The Palestinians must first apply to join the court, and once a member they could refer Israel for investigation.

The Palestinians became eligible to join the ICC after the U.N. General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians’ status at the world body in November from “observer entity” to “non-member state,” a move that was widely seen as a de facto recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

After the November 29 vote – on the 65th anniversary of the adoption of U.N. resolution 181 that partitioned Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states – Israel announced it would build 3,000 more settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are areas the Palestinians want for a future state, along with Gaza.

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.

(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Louis Charbonneau | Reuters

Jordan’s king urges Israel, Palestinians to talk.


AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan‘s king has warned that the failure to revive peace talks betweenIsrael and the Palestinians is adding to regional tensions.

A statement from the royal palace said King Abdullah II told a delegation from the Washington-basedAmerican Israel Public Affairs Committee that regional changes tied to the Arab Spring should “drive” the Israeli government to “embrace peace.”

In his talks Monday with the pro-Israel group, the king also called on Israel to stop measures that he said hinder peace efforts, including West Bank settlement construction.

Abdullah urged Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. to resume peacemaking efforts. He called for direct talks based on a two-state solution, which envisions the establishment of a Palestinian state.

He said it remains the “only formula” to end the 65-year old conflict.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Associated Press

Tag Cloud