PLO Wants UN Security Council to Censure Israel Over Settlement Construction

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The PLO will ask the United Nations Security Council to denounce Israel following the continued construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the movement's executive committee decided on Wednesday.

The United Nations Security CouncilCredit: AP

Executive committee member Hana Amira said yesterday the PLO will also ask the UN General Assembly to implement the Geneva Convention in the Palestinian territories and send a delegation to examine Israeli infringements on Palestinians' rights, he said.

Amira told Al Ayyam newspaper the PLO decided to go to the Security Council in view of the ongoing construction in the settlements and the sabotaging of every possibility of reaching a two-state solution.

The U.S. Administration responded to word of the move with disappointment. We're disappointed by recent announcements in Jerusalem [about new settlement activity], said U.S. State Department Deputy spokesman Mark Toner. And we don't believe that there's any answers that lie in pursuing a path through the UN for the Palestinian Authority.

These are not productive ways to move this process forward. Our goal remains getting [Israelis and Palestinians] back into direct negotiations. Neither of these activities get us to where we need to go. And the sooner both sides, both parties wake up to that fact, the better, said Toner.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the PLO leadership that he had agreed with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal on five central issues at their recent meeting in Cairo, Amira said.

The issues are acting to establish a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital; preserving peaceful resistance and upholding the temporary truce in the West Bank and Gaza; holding elections for Palestinian president, parliament and National Council in May 2012; forming an independent technocratic cabinet and making mutual confidence-building gestures.

Abbas and Meshal also agreed to form a joint government to supervise the elections and not to hold them under two separate governments - a Hamas government in Gaza and a Fatah government in the West Bank.

On December 22 representatives of all PLO factions are to meet in Cairo to discuss the elections committee and the body that would legally supervise the elections. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are not affiliated with the PLO, will also take part in the meeting.

Khaled Meshal and Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 24, 2011.Credit: AFP Photo / Hamas

Meanwhile a Hamas spokesman yesterday denied Haaretz's report that Hamas had conditioned the May elections on holding elections in East Jerusalem as well.

However, Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas' Gaza-based spokesman, said "holding elections in Jerusalem is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Israeli occupation has no right to interfere with it."

Barhoum said Israel's intention to prevent the elections in Jerusalem shows it means to sabotage the reconciliation efforts between the Palestinian factions. "Israel will fail in this as it failed in the 2006 elections," Barhoum said.