Israel appreciates US veto on "illegal" settlements

Last Updated: Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 21:30

Jerusalem: Israel on Saturday "deeply
appreciated" the US stands to veto a UN resolution that would
have condemned the Jewish state`s "illegal" settlement
activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The move was backed by the other 14 Security Council
members, including India and with nearly 120 co-sponsors has
incensed the Palestinians and is likely to anger the Arab
world currently under political turmoil.

"Israel deeply appreciates the decision by President
Obama to veto the Security Council Resolution", Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s office said in a statement.

Israel was "prepared to pursue negotiations
vigorously" and was "eager to get on" with Israeli-Palestinian
peace talks, the statement said adding, the "decision by the
US makes it clear that the only path to such a peace will come
through direct negotiations and not through the decisions of
international bodies".

The US opposes new Israeli settlements but says taking
the issue to the UN will only complicate efforts to resume
stalled negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on a
two-state solution.

Palestinian leaders called for a "day of rage" today
in the streets of West Bank cities after the US vetoed the
resolution.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Executive
Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said
the Palestinians would take their resolution to the UN General
Assembly.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, held a press
conference condemning the US stand.

"The American veto is an oppressive decision which
disgraces the rights of the Palestinian people and reveals the
truth about US support for all of the crimes the Zionist enemy
commits in its service," Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 21:30

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