Palestinians win more support for UN upgrade bid

Updated 29 November 2012
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Palestinians win more support for UN upgrade bid

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met two senior US officials last night to discuss his controversial bid for elevated UN recognition, diplomats said.
Abbas held talks with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and US Middle East envoy David Hill at his hotel, diplomats said.
“They had talks on the Palestinian application for membership, the US position on this is well known,” a western official told AFP.
Abbas will today put the Palestinian claim for elevated status to the 193-member UN General Assembly where he is certain to get an emphatic majority.
More European states joined France in backing the Palestinian bid but Britain held back, saying it wanted an assurance that the Palestinians would not pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court.
Germany said it would not support the diplomatic upgrade for the Palestinians at the UN.
Granting Palestinians the title of “observer state” short of full UN representation could allow them access to the court and some other international bodies.
President Abbas is leading the campaign and several European governments are eager to give him their support after an eight-day conflict this month.
Abbas has pledged to relaunch the peace process immediately following the UN vote, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said as it gave its backing for fuller Palestinian statehood.
With overwhelming support from the developing world, the Palestinians appear certain to earn approval in the 193-member UN General Assembly for the status upgrade today.


Gaza officials: 20 Palestinians wounded at Israeli border

Updated 4 sec ago
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Gaza officials: 20 Palestinians wounded at Israeli border

  • Gaza’s Health Ministry says 20 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli fire along the border fence.
  • A few thousand Palestinians attended Friday’s rally near the border with a few dozen venturing toward the fence.

GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Health Ministry says 20 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli fire along the border fence.
A few thousand Palestinians attended Friday’s rally near the border with a few dozen venturing toward the fence.
Some launched flaming kites at Israel. The devices have destroyed forests and crops and killed animals in recent weeks in Israel.
The militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has led three months of protests that turned violent. Over 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
Israel says it is defending its border and nearby communities and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the fence and carry out attacks.
Rallies are aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.