Palestinians vow to pursue statehood

Crowds in Ramallah pledge not to forget cause for a free state, as leaders meet to discuss response to failed UN bid.

    Palestinians vow to pursue statehood
    The UN Security Council rejected the resolution, with the US and Australia both voting against the motion [AP]

    Thousands of Palestinians have gathered in Ramallah, vowing not to forget their cause for a free state after the UN Security Council voted against a draft resolution for an end to Israeli occupation.

    While they chanted slogans of freedom during a parade to mark fifty years since the Palestnian group Fatah was founded, the gathering on Wednesday was also as much to register their disappointment over the failed resolution.

    Addressing the crowds, President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestine would not wait for its freedom to be granted, but instead would take it, Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab said.

    The UN Security Council on Tuesday rejected a resolution calling for an end to Israel's occupation by 2017.

    The resolution needed nine votes to pass but only got eight.

    The eight countries that voted in favour of the resolution were China, France, Russia , Luxembourg, Chad, Chile, Argentina and Jordan while the United States and Australia voted no.

    The United Kingdom and South Korea were among the five nations that abstained from the vote.

    Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Ramallah, said many people had been disappointed with the vote.

    "There are factions within the Palestinian leadership and other movements who are disappointed with what happened," he said.

    "Some feel Mahmoud Abbas shouldn't have pushed forward until they were certain they would have got the votes. However, what we have been hearing from various people including President Abbas is that the resistance is not over just because they failed to clear this hurdle."

    International Criminal Court

    Abbas is meeting other senior Palestnian leaders to decide on the next course of action.

    There were suggestions that he would sign the Rome Statute, moving Palestine one step closer to being part of the International Criminal Court.

    Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor, James Bays, reporting from London, said that the Palestinians had previously stopped short of this move.

    "It would be a very historic moment if they did do that, but they have been talking about this for a long time and have always decided not to take that step," he said.

    "There a number of negatives associated with the process. Certainly it could see Israeli leaders investigated for war crimes, but if Palestine did join the ICC, it could also see some Hamas leaders becoming subject to investigations."

    Another option could be drafting a new resolution with different language that could appeal to more countries.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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