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.

 

Separate Syria air strikes kill at least 32

Turkish FM in Switzerland amid rising tensions with Europe

Two more 'significant arrests' over London attack

UN says Israel has ignored resolution on illegal settlements

Cities, monuments dim lights for Earth Hour

Gunmen kill Hamas official in Gaza

Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a 'test' for Kurds

More Algerian women in work, but husbands control wages

Beirut university settles US lawsuit over Hezbollah

1.1 million weekend travellers from Dubai hit by laptop ban

Shiite Lebanese women endure painful custody battles

Russia, China seek Iraq chemical weapons probe

Besieged Syrians struggle with dwindling dialysis supplies

Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

Syria says peace talks must first focus on 'terrorism'

12 Syrian refugees dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Mosul displaced head into unknown

As war keeps them away, Yemen children dream of school

Ousted Egyptian president Mubarak freed from detention

Iraq's Sadr threatens boycott if election law unchanged

Israel, US fail to reach settlement agreement

Yemen rebel missile kills Saudi soldier

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgium’s Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva

EU summons Turkey envoy over 'safety' remarks

400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City

Saudi film festival launch postponed after sandstorm

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings

Qaeda, IS developing harder-to-detect bombs say experts

World leaders condemn Britain terror attack

Terrorist attack at London’s Houses of Parliament

2016 saw sharp rise in illegal Israeli settlement projects

US-led coalition vows lasting victory against IS

Bahrain arrests photographer on unspecified charges

Humanitarian groups demand access to Yemen civilians suffering 'open-air massacre'

33 killed in US-led air strike on north Syria