Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 30, 2012

Israel okays new West Bank settlement construction

(Continued)

The results of the U.N. vote were a foregone conclusion, given the sympathies of nearly all member states. Only nine states opposed the bid, including Israel and the United States, while 138 supported it. Unlike the more powerful U.N. Security Council, there are no vetoes in the General Assembly, and the resolution to raise the Palestinian status only required a majority vote for approval.

The vote granted Abbas an overwhelming international endorsement for his key position: establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Netanyahu opposes a full pullback to the 1967 lines.

The Palestinians turned to the U.N. after two decades of on-again, off-again talks.

Netanyahu dismissed the U.N. vote as meaningless and accused Abbas of delivering a "defamatory and venomous" U.N. speech "full of mendacious propaganda" against Israel.

____

Laub contributed from Ramallah, West Bank.

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