Israel, Palestinians Clash Over UN Recognition

Posted July 26th, 2011 at 8:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Israeli and Palestinian envoys have squared off at the United Nations Security Council over plans to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in September.

The Palestinian U.N. observer, Riyad Mansour, said Tuesday that seeking recognition would not hurt the peace process and would instead strengthen efforts to achieve a two-state solution. He said his government cannot wait any longer for Israel to negotiate in good faith.

Mansour did not say whether the Palestinians will seek U.N. membership as a sovereign state – which requires Security Council approval – or will push for a non-binding resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.

Israel's U.N. ambassador, Ron Prosor, urged Palestinians to return to direct negotiations. He said the split within the Palestinian leadership means even the most basic condition for statehood – a monopoly on the use of force – does not exist.

The two diplomats spoke during the final public discussion at the U.N. Security Council about the Israeli-Palestinian crisis before the General Assembly meets in September.

U.S. Deputy United Nations Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo told the Council that Washington will not support any unilateral bid by the Palestinians for recognition. The U.S. is one of five veto-wielding permanent Council members and has made clear it would block any such move.

The U.N.'s top Mideast envoy, Robert Serry, warned that the peace process is in “profound and persistent deadlock.” He said the status quo is not sustainable and that the situation on the ground could quickly deteriorate.

Mansour told reporters that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians inspired by the Arab Spring could take to the streets to demand the right to self-determination, a voice he does not think the international community can ignore.