09/22/2011, 00.00
ISRAEL - PALESTINE
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Obama's veto against the Palestinian State: satisfaction in Israel, hope for Hamas

Despite the veto, Abbas will push ahead with the request to the UN. U.S. and Israeli pressure on the members of the Security Council that have already recognized a Palestinian state. Netanyahu praises Obama. The failure may reinforce the intransigence of the Palestinian Hamas. Demonstrations in Palestine and Lebanon.
New York (AsiaNews / Agencies) - U.S. President Barack Obama has told Mahmoud Abbas that he will veto the Palestinian demand for a full recognition of the UN. Before meeting the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, he spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations, saying that a Palestinian state can only come from direct talks with Israel.

Abbas said that despite the American threat, tomorrow he will present the demand for recognition of a Palestinian state "within the 1967 borders" at the UN. Nabil Shaath, a close Abbas aide said that they "will leave some time to the Security Council" to decide, before turning to the General Assembly.

To be a UN member with full rights the request must have the support of the majority of the Security Council without veto. In the event of an American veto, the Palestinians intend to propose directly to the General Assembly their recognition as an "observer" (similar to the rank held by the Vatican). In this case there can be no veto, and Abbas is almost certain of victory.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy, speaking yesterday at the UN, pushed for this second solution for the Palestinians, urging the international community to insist on the resumption of bilateral negotiations as soon as possible, within a precise time frame to that would reach a conclusion within one year.

The statement on the veto was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has called Obama's speech a "badge of honour." In addition to relying on the support of the United States, both Israel and the United States have worked hectically in recent months to lean on members of the Security Council to block the Palestinian bid. Brazil, Russia, China, India, Lebanon, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon and Nigeria are members of the Council and have already recognized the Palestinian state. Days ago, however after Israeli pressure, Nigeria, decided to remain neutral in the voting.

In addition to delighting Israel, the possible failure of the Abbas attempt may also have gladdened Hamas. Political analyst Akram Atallah explained that "If Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] fails, Hamas will be stronger than ever." Failure would end the prospect of peace negotiations with Israel "to the benefit of Hamas " The violent Islamic movement Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and has always opposed any concessions to Israel.

Yesterday, in various Palestinian cities and in Lebanon, there were demonstrations and rallies in support of the UN bid. In Ramallah, a massive chair was erected, symbolizing the UN seat that Palestine is seeking.



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