November 30, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations General Assembly voted by a lopsided margin over U.S. and Israeli objections to grant Palestinians an enhanced status that acknowledges their long-cherished goal of statehood. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas won 138 of the assembly's 193 votes Thursday - including those of several key European states - for his proposal to have the group's standing upgraded to "nonmember observer state" from "nonmember observer entity. " It was the use of the word "state" that was most important to Palestinians.
November 28, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is virtually certain to win passage Thursday of a United Nations General Assembly resolution upgrading the status of the Palestinian territories from "observer entity" to "nonmember observer state" in the international body. But he won't have much time to bask in the diplomatic victory. This month's eight-day clash between Israel and the Islamist militant movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip provided fresh momentum for Abbas' U.N. campaign while also raising the stakes for what was once seen largely as a symbolic step to jump-start peace talks and rattle Israel into making concessions.
November 27, 2012 |
PARIS -- France said Tuesday it will support an elevated status for the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations, the first major European power to endorse such an action by the U.N. General Assembly. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country would vote in favor of “non-member observer status” for the Palestinians at an Assembly meeting Thursday. The vote comes a year after the Palestinian Authority failed to secure full state membership, an effort that was blocked by the Obama administration.
November 20, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The hostilities in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas have raised sympathy among many Palestinians for the Islamist militant group and elevated its status at the expense of the rival Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, observers say. Abbas, who views himself as the leader of all Palestinians, has been sidelined as Hamas has taken center stage in the struggle against Israel and received a string of...
November 12, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - Facing a lack of progress in their statehood bid, Palestinian leaders said Monday that they would ask the United Nations General Assembly by month's end to elevate their status in the international body from observer entity to nonmember state. Though largely symbolic, an upgrade could make it easier for the Palestinians to join organizations such as the International Criminal Court, which previously rejected their complaint against Israel over its handling of the 2008-09 Gaza Strip assault.
September 6, 2012 |
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Grappling with a $100-million monthly budget deficit, the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority is struggling these days to keep the lights on. Until an emergency bank loan late last month enabled the Palestinian administration to temporarily stave off creditors and suppliers, its Israeli electricity provider was threatening to cut power to parts of Ramallah, Bethlehem and other West Bank cities. "The problems are becoming more entrenched," said newly appointed Finance Minister Nabeel Kassis, who spends most of his time trying to scrape together enough cash to pay the monthly bills and salaries.
August 1, 2012
Like everyone else, we're a bit tired of the gaffe-centric coverage of the presidential race. Every day the two campaigns and the press seem to gin up another small-potatoes controversy designed to send voters into a tizzy, generally without addressing the more serious issues facing the country or the economy. But Mitt Romney's comments in Israel this week seem to rise above the run-of-the-mill misstatements that have been receiving too much attention in recent months. From the moment he landed there (after promising to abide by an unwritten campaign rule not to challenge American foreign policy while abroad)
December 20, 2011 |
A 45-foot-high artificial Christmas tree towers over Manger Square, and downtown Bethlehem is festooned with sparkling decorations. There's even a picture of a saxophone-playing Santa Claus. But Nabil Giacaman, co-owner of a souvenir shop called Christmas House, isn't feeling the holiday spirit. The third-generation woodcarver, who sells handmade likenesses of baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary, sees as many as 200 tour buses arrive every day from Israel to visit the Church of the Nativity, just a few steps from his store.
November 1, 2011 |
After a successful Palestinian bid to join the U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, Israel said Tuesday that it would retaliate by issuing tenders for about 2,000 new housing units on land it seized during the 1967 Mideast War. After meeting with his top advisors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would order construction of apartments in the Jerusalem area and the West Bank settlements of Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim. Officials said about 1,650 units would be built around Jerusalem and the rest in the West Bank.
October 24, 2011 |
When East Jerusalem teachers ask students to open their history books these days, pupils are wondering: Which one? Two sets of textbooks are vying for the formative minds of thousands of Palestinian students in Arabic-language schools in East Jerusalem. One was written by the Palestinian Authority, and the other is a revised version reprinted by Israeli authorities. It's a textbook war that underscores the long-running battle of narratives in the Mideast conflict, where the fight over the future is often rooted in understanding of the past, and schoolbooks can play a critical role.