US veto on anti-Jewish settlement resolution outrages Palestinians

10:27, February 20, 2011      

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by Saud Abu Ramadan

Representatives vote following closed-door consultations among the 15 Security Council members at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, Feb. 18, 2011. The United States, a permanent Security Council member, on Friday vetoed a UN draft resolution that condemned continued Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and demanded Israel " immediately and completely cease" all such activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

The U.S. veto on a Palestinian-Arab draft resolution presented to the United Nations Security Council late on Friday that condemns Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories has outraged the Palestinians.

The U.S. voted in favor of Israel, but angered the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank and its rival Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, as well as the Palestinian opposition groups, who all become united and condemned the U.S. vote against the resolution.

Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of the central committee of PNA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, called on the Palestinians to consider next Friday a day of rage and demonstrations in the Palestinian territories to condemn the U.S. vote against the resolution.

"The American veto reveals the real face of America and its bias to injustice and repression of the occupation against the people. This expresses the lies of freedom and democracy the United States is calling for," Tirawi said, adding "when we call for freedom and democracy, the U.S. stands to Israel's side."

Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee and Fatah party's central committee held in Ramallah an emergency meeting chaired by Abbas late on Friday to discuss the consequences after the United States vetoed the resolution.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the PLO told reporters on Saturday that after the U.S. vote, "the Palestinians won't consider the Americans a fair mediator in the peace process," adding "the vote was a heavy strike to the efforts of reviving the stalled process."

He added that the Palestinian leadership would reconsider the process of peace negotiations and the leadership "will be on an open-ended meetings to crystallize a mechanism for the upcoming Palestinian moves." Observers said the U.S. vote against the resolution would harm the U.S.-Palestinian ties.

"We won't stop, we will keep our peaceful struggle on the ground and we will be working with our Arab brothers, foreign friends, the U.N. Security Council and with the U.N. General Assembly until our people gain their freedom and their national legitimate rights," Abed Rabbo said.

The U.S. administration has been sponsoring the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks were suspended on Oct. 2, one month after it were launched in Washington, after Israel refused to freeze settlement construction.

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Source: Xinhua
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