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Middle East

Reactions to Palestine's United Nations bid

Reactions from Palestinian, Israeli and international observers.
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2012 11:50

We'll be updating this page throughout the day as Al Jazeera talks with a range of observers - Palestinian, Israeli and international - about the Palestinian bid for limited recognition at the United Nations.

Diana Buttu, lawyer, former PLO negotiator, Ramallah

That really depends on what Mahmoud Abbas does after this resolution is passed. It's clear that he will get the necessary votes today, but the real question remains whether he's doing this as a symbolic measure to boost up his support, or whether he's doing this to change the rules of the game and ensure that Israel is held accountable for its violations of human law and its violations of human rights.

One of the major problems has been that Israel has been allowed to build and expand Israeli settlements for more than 45 years without so much as one country doing anything to hold Israel accountable... this is why it's vitally important that this issue be taken to the International Criminal Court, and that there be some teeth put behind international criminal law, so that Israel is given the message that it's not above international law, and the Palestinians are not beneath it.

Mark Regev, Israeli government spokesman, Jerusalem

I think we're going to see political theatre today at the UN... it's a foregone conclusion, they have an automatic built-in majority there, and they'll get their resolution through, but it's bad theatre because it's a bad day for peace and a bad day for reconciliation.

Obviously from Israel's perspective, this is a violation of understandings, of signed agreements that the Palestinians said they would resolve outstanding issues through negotiations with us, and instead they're going to the United Nations with this one-sided resolution.

We're going to have a political crisis now, and it's totally unnecessary, because it changes nothing on the ground.

The trouble with what's happening today at the UN is that it's just theatre, it doesn't deal with the core issues, it doesn't deal with Israeli concerns. How can you make peace while ignoring Israel?

Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for Hamas, Gaza

We have a very clear statement that Hamas will come and support such a step, and we will support any move which leads to the return of our national rights, and to establish our state.

I think most people now say that we have to united, because we will be pleased if we can get this membership from the United Nations. But I think the question, the real issue will be after that, because you have more than 200, 300 resolutions in the United Nations without implementation. The question is what we will do after that: can we do something on the ground? Can we stop building settlements? Can we remove checkpoints from the West Bank?

Such a big issue, such a very sensitive struggle, it's not just to test if there's popularity or not popularity. We think this is part of the struggle against occupation, either on the military side or the political side.

It's time to work together and to end the divisions among the Palestinians, and to go directly to reconciliation.

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