Palestinians stand disappointed

IT was, perhaps, for the first time that the United States was poised to show respect to the will of the majority at the UN as President Obama reportedly decided not to go for a US veto of an Egyptian-sponsored draft resolution that had demanded Israel halt all settlement activities in occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians and declared that existing settlements “have no legal validity”. However, diplomatic manoeuvring of the Israeli Prime Minister who made SOS calls to the President-elect Donald Trump to intervene, who obliged him and pressurized Egypt into withdrawing resolution on the pretext of giving more time for consultation.
In the entire history of the UN Security Council, the United States used 77 vetoes and strangely enough 30 of them were in favour of Israel and mostly against Palestinians but this time round President Obama wanted to send a strong message to Tel Aviv which did not respond well to his peace initiatives twice in his tenure. This was in line with the new thinking in Washington that a “two-state” solution is imperilled by Israeli settlement building. If the resolution was allowed to pass, it would have been a symbolic blow to the diplomatic shield that the United States has always offered Israel. It would also have sent a strong signal of international disapproval over the construction of settlements, regarded illegal under international law. Israeli settlements are seen as major stumbling block to peace efforts as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state. The United Nations maintains that settlements are illegal, but UN officials have reported a surge in construction over the past months. Israeli belligerence makes it abundantly clear that the Jewish State is not interested in a just resolution of the conflict. The diplomatic wrangling has sent a dismaying message to Palestinians and obviously they have no other means than to stand up against injustice.

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