PLO calls for ‘day of rage’ after UN Security Council veto
Posted by avideditor on February 21, 2011
Palestinians call protest against U.S. vetoing UN Security Council condemnation of settlements; Israel urges resumption of direct peace negotiations
Khaled Abu Toameh and Tovah Lazaroff
Palestinians on Saturday called for a “day of rage” this Friday to protest against the U.S. administration’s decision to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israel for building in the settlements.
Expressing outrage over Friday’s veto, the Palestinian Authority threatened to reassess its position on the Middle East peace process.
Israel, in contrast, welcomed the vetoand called on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.
Friday’s “decision by the U.S. makes it clear that the only path to… peace will come through direct negotiations and not through the decisions of international bodies.
“We are prepared to pursue those peace negotiations vigorously and are eager to get on with the work of achieving a secure peace,” said the Prime Minister’s Office. “We hope the Palestinians will join us in that effort as soon as possible.”
Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel until it halts settlements activity and instead have pursued international recognition of statehood and UN resolutions on the matter, such as the one it brought before the Security Council on Friday.
As one of five permanent Security Council members with veto power, the U.S. was able to block the anti-settlement resolution even though it had the support of the 14 other members, including Britain, Germany and France.
The measure was submitted by Lebanon on behalf of the Palestinians after intensive American diplomacy failed to keep it from being considered.