Israel mulls steps against the Palestinians over U.N. bid

JERUSALEM Tue Nov 6, 2012 4:36pm EST

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Senior members of Israel's cabinet on Tuesday weighed punitive steps that could be taken against the Palestinians if they pursue a campaign to upgrade their status to "observer state" at the United Nations this month.

A senior Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inner circle of ministers reached an agreement in principle on the measures Israel may take if the Palestinians ask the U.N. General Assembly for the diplomatic upgrade.

The upgrade could grant the Palestinians, now registered as an "observer entity", access to bodies such as the International Criminal Court, where they could file complaints against Israel.

Israel and the United States oppose the unilateral move by the Palestinians and have called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to peace talks that collapsed in 2010 over Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that if the Palestinians pushed on with the U.N. bid, Israel may cancel the Paris Protocol, a key economic accord it maintains with the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.

The official added that the government might also adopt portions of a legal panel's report that recommended in July a legalization of dozens of outposts set up by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

Israeli commentators do not expect decisions on any steps before the result of Tuesday's U.S. election is known.

The Palestinians want to establish a state in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in a 1967 Mideast war. Most countries consider settlements Israel has built in occupied territory as illegal under international law.

Frustrated in their request for full statehood last year amid U.S. opposition at the U.N. Security Council, Palestinians have launched a watered-down bid for recognition as an "observer state" -- the same status given to the Vatican.

They are heading for a sure victory in the General Assembly, which is composed mostly of post-colonial states historically sympathetic to the Palestinians, but West Bank diplomats are courting European countries to further burnish their case.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (5)
In the 21st century, we are no longer prepared to accept neo-colonialism or Zionist imperialism. There are 5 million Palestinians who are still under the heel of this military regime that still holds thousands of political prisoners without trial. Gaza with its 1.6 million Arabs is now under its 6th year of an illegitimate blockade that seeks to effect a regime change under the pretext of stopping the importation of weapons. This from a secret nuclear state that is estimated to have a nuclear arsenal of up to 400 nuclear warheads all hidden from the UN’s IAEA inspectorate. This is the state that imports millions of dollars worth of weaponry every year. This is the state that offers financial inducements to its citizens to leave their homes in Israel and settle illegally on Arab land in order to frustrate the will of the UN in the establishment of a Palestinian state for the oldest and largest indigenous people of the region.

This is the state that claims, tongue in cheek, to be the only democracy in the Middle East! I

Nov 06, 2012 6:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
How dare you be recognized by the world community!!!

The Israelis told you to stay in the back corner of your cage and shut up!!! How dare you defy them!!!!!!

Don’t you know they are the chosen people of god!!?

Nov 06, 2012 6:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
skater60 wrote:
News Flash! God loves us all! Creator says: “I love all humans equally!, people are insane if they think otherwise! The saints, the sinners, the smart & the dummies – I love them all!! Don’t mess with my people! Please!”

Nov 07, 2012 12:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
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