U.N. welcomes Palestinian unity government rejected by Israel

UNITED NATIONS Tue Jun 3, 2014 6:09pm BST

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (4th L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (3rd L) pose for a group photo with Palestinian ministers during a swearing-in ceremony of the unity government, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014.  REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (4th L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (3rd L) pose for a group photo with Palestinian ministers during a swearing-in ceremony of the unity government, in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations on Tuesday welcomed the formation of a new Palestinian unity government that came about thanks to a reconciliation deal between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah and Hamas Islamists.

"The secretary-general welcomes, on the basis of assurances provided both publicly and to the United Nations, the announcement on 2 June by President Mahmoud Abbas of the formation of a government of national consensus headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"The secretary-general (Ban Ki-moon) takes note of the renewed assurances yesterday by President Abbas that the government will continue to abide by those commitments of recognition of Israel, non-violence and adherence to previous agreements," he said.

Washington's announcement that it would work with the new Palestinian government has set the United States on a new collision course with Israel, which has shunned the new cabinet in the Palestinian territories.

Setting a policy in line with U.S. and European Union demands, the Western-backed Palestinian leader Abbas said his administration would continue to honour agreements and principles at the foundation of a peace process with Israel.

Hamas, which advocates Israel's destruction, has run the Gaza Strip since seizing the territory from Abbas' Fatah forces in a brief civil war in 2007. Numerous reconciliation efforts, largely brokered by Egypt, have failed over power-sharing.

"The United Nations stands ready to lend its full support to the newly formed government in its effort to reunite the West Bank and Gaza," Dujarric said.

He added that U.N. chief Ban "counts on a constructive approach by regional stakeholders, and hopes the international community will not relent in its support to the development of Palestinian economy and Israeli-Palestinian peace."

President Barack Obama's administration said on Monday it plans to work with and fund the new Palestinian unity government, and Israel immediately voiced its disappointment with the decision also criticized by some U.S. lawmakers.

The European Union has also expressed a willingness to work with the new Palestinian government.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Tom Brown)

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Comments (1)
Bellch wrote:
Are Netanyahu’s settlements in the Occupied Territories acting as a driver of anti-Semitic violence?

In the wake of the terrorist killings last week in Brussels Jewish Museum, the question is: ‘Are Netanyahu’s illegal settlement policies in the Occupied Territories acting as a driver of anti-Semitic violence in the Diaspora?’

The president of the Belgian League against Antisemitism (LBCA) is quoted as stating that, “After Operation Cast Lead you saw the climax in Jew-hate ..”

The above statement would appear to confirm the long-held suspicion that anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe, is driven by the Israeli government’s aggression against the indigenous Muslim Arabs that legalises the expropriation of their land, the demolition of their homes and the continuous killing of militant Palestinian men, women and children.

Operation Cast Lead was an attack by the IDF in December 2008 against a predominately civilian population in Gaza. It resulted in 1417 Palestinian deaths, of which 926 were civilians many of them children under the age of 16, by Israeli strikes in the densely populated cities of Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah. Another 5303 Palestinians were wounded and 50,800 Gaza residents displaced. Over 4,000 homes were destroyed and around $2bn worth of damage caused by heavily-armed Israeli troops.

A UNHRC Report of 2009 alleged that war crimes had been committed. Notwithstanding this, the British government last year succumbed to pressure from the Israel lobby and amended UK law to make it easier for anyone alleged guilty of war crimes to visit Britain without fear of arrest.

Since then, the Israeli government has continued to demolish Arab houses in the West Bank and East Jerusalem whilst authorising yet more illegal settlements in violation of international law and in contempt of the will of the EU, the US and the United Nations.

The decision of Israel’s former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, (now sentenced to six years in prison for bribery), to authorise the alleged war crime that killed hundreds of civilians in Gaza, could conceivably lead to the eventual disintegration of the Jewish state – the establishment of which, in the Muslim Middle East, is now increasingly seen as an act of political expediency that has destabilised the region for over half a century and led to the proliferation of undeclared nuclear weapons of mass destruction that are a distinct threat to global peace.

And just a few days ago, a former minister in the Olmert government, (who is now a minister of the Netanyahu administration), was given special immunity from arrest, in London, in connection with alleged war crime charges, and allowed to return to Israel without even being questioned.


Jun 03, 2014 8:37pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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