First Published: 2013-01-24

 

Palestinians threaten to sue Israel over settlement plans

 

Foreign Minister Malki says allowing Jewish settlers into so-called E1 zone east of Jerusalem will be ‘trespassing red lines’.

 

Middle East Online

‘We will wait to see how Israel will react from now on’

UNITED NATIONS - The Palestinians will launch an International Criminal Court case if the new Israeli government allows settlements in occupied areas near Jerusalem, the Palestinian foreign minister said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said allowing Jewish settlers into the so-called E1 zone east of Jerusalem would be "trespassing the red lines".

The Palestinians are "absolutely not going to tolerate any construction in that particular area," Malki told reporters after addressing a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East conflict.

"We will wait to see how Israel will react from now on, especially after the formation of the new government," he added.

E1 is one of the occupied areas where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's outgoing government has authorized thousands of new settlement homes.

The Palestinian leadership also has a priority list of UN agencies and treaties that could be joined after the UN General Assembly voted to recognize a Palestinian state in November, Malki said.

"We are ready to sign on treaties and conventions, and we are ready also to see ourselves applying for UN agencies and international organizations," Malki said. The foreign ministry was awaiting a "green light" from President Mahmud Abbas.

Abbas agreed to hold back from joining UN agencies after the November 29 vote to give time to the new US administration to launch a Middle East peace initiative.

Malki said incoming US secretary of state John Kerry should visit the region as soon as possible and that 2013 would be a "critical" year for the peace process.

The United States and Israel strongly the opposed the UN vote, insisting that the Palestinians should return to direct talks which have been frozen since September 2010.

US ambassador Susan Rice called on Israel to reconsider its settlements in the occupied territory and impose a freeze on tax transfers to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority. But she reaffirmed opposition to UN recognition of the Palestinian state.

The United States would not recognize "any reference to the state of Palestine in the United Nations" even if US diplomats take part in a meeting where the Palestinians are present, Rice said.

Malki, told the UN Security Council that Palestinian leaders would work toward peace with any Israeli government that recognizes the Palestinian state.

But he added that actions by Netanyahu since the November 29 vote have been "the complete antithesis of the two-state solution."

"In the wake of the Israeli elections, Palestine is willing to work with any Israeli government to be formed -- provided that it is committed to the General Assembly resolutions giving effect to the state of Palestine and to the pre-1967 borders," Malki told envoys.

The minister said the deadlocked peace process is now at a "crossroads."

Israel must choose between "a meaningful political process" or "force us into an era in which that solution is abandoned and the Palestinian people enter a new stage in their struggle to defend and achieve their rights," Malki said.

Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor rejected the criticism.

"The major obstacle to the two-state solution is the Palestinian leadership's refusal to speak to their own people about the true parameters of a two-state solution -- to speak a lexicon of peace, not a litany of war," he told the Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

Prosor said the Palestinians had not shown a "single indication" that they want to return to talks.

 

Hezbollah sends message to Israel ‘conflict is over’

Jordan wants to see proof pilot alive before exchange

Iraq government vows to investigate Diyala massacre

Libyan airline suspends flights

British mosques open doors to reach out to citizens

Syria opposition embassy in Qatar renews passports

Women protest against Egypt police after fatal shooting

MSF withdraws help from two Sudan states

US says thousands of Somali children facing starvation

Kuwait online activists arrested 'over Saudi criticism'

Iran, Europe officials to meet Thursday in Istanbul

IS issues new deadline to kill Jordanian pilot if demand not met

Netanyahu warns Hezbollah will pay 'full price'

African Union sees no military solution to Libya crisis

Yemen powerful militia prevents fresh protest in Sanaa

Iran appoints new UN ambassador after US visa refusal

Pentagon confirms US involvement in talks with Yemen Huthis

Hezbollah missiles threaten to spark new war in volatile region

In new website, France warns would-be jihadists: You will die alone

Israel retaliates against Hezbollah attack

Can Iraqis trust their government to rebuild their country?

Sheikh Ali Salman rejects charges as trial opens in Bahrain

Protesters try to storm UN headquarters in Gaza

UN peacekeeper killed in southern Lebanon amid border clash

Kobane in ruins after symbolic blow to jihadists

Jordan bows to IS demand

Hezbollah claims attack on Israeli military convoy

Somali PM proposes new cabinet list

Syria opposition groups, Assad representatives meet in Moscow

Yemen’s Huthis free top presidential aide

French FM urges international cooperation against extremism

Clock ticking towards 24-hour IS deadline to kill hostages

Obama, Saudi king discuss IS fight, Iran

Nine killed in luxury Tripoli hotel attack

Three killed in Tripoli luxury hotel attack

UN harshly criticises Turkey for deterioration of human rights

‘Islamic State’ gives Jordan 24 hours before execution of hostages

Ex-Shebab chief urges others to surrender in first public appearance

Bomb kills and wounds three terrorists in Egypt's Alexandria

Three killed in protest against MINUSMA in Mali

Humanitarian crisis looms for thousands of families in southern Iraq

Rockets fired from Syria explode in Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

Egypt Grand Mufti condemns actions of Muslim Brotherhood

Residents trickle back to Kobane after expulsion of jihadists

Obama comes to Saudi with heavyweight delegation