Friday, November 30, 2012

Israel to Build New Homes in Jerusalem, West Bank After UN Vote

(Bloomberg) Israel approved the construction of 3,000 new homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank, less than 24 hours after the United Nations General Assembly voted to recognize Palestine as a non-member state.

Israel also intends to move forward on procedures necessary to plan further construction in a West Bank area between the Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim and Jerusalem, two government officials said, speaking anonymously due to the sensitivity of the matter. The Palestinian Authority, the UN and the U.S. consider all Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

The 193-member General Assembly yesterday voted 138-9, with 41 abstentions, for a resolution granting Palestinians a form of statehood on a par in the world body with the Vatican. The most significant ramification is that the new state may be able to join organizations such as the International Criminal Court.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today by text message that the nine countries that voted against recognition, including the U.S., took the “side of truth and the side of peace.” Netanyahu yesterday called the resolution “so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backward.”