Thu, May 01, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Israel, Palestinians at UN trade claims of sabotage

Reuters, UNITED NATIONS

Israeli and Palestinian envoys on Tuesday took advantage of a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East to publicly blame each other for the latest breakdown in the fragile peace negotiations as the deadline for a deal expired.

Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, told the 15-nation Security Council that Israeli and Palestinian leaders should “convince each other anew they are partners for peace.”

Both Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor and Palestinian UN observer Riyad Mansour expressed a commitment to peace.

However, they also accused each other of undermining the most recent attempt to secure a deal in US-brokered talks.

“Israel has maintained its rejectionist stance and persisted with its grave breaches, constantly reaffirming its role as occupier and oppressor, not as peacemaker,” Mansour told the council. “Once again, Israel has thwarted peace efforts.”

Israel’s envoy pinned responsibility for the suspension of peace negotiations on the Palestinians.

“The Palestinians pledge dialogue while fermenting hatred,” Prosor said. “They promise tolerance while celebrating terrorists. And they make commitments almost as quickly as they break them.”

Prosor also accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of abandoning a chance to “tango with Israel” in favor of “waltzing off with Hamas.”

The talks fell apart last week, with Washington blaming both sides for failing to compromise ahead of Tuesday’s deadline.

US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told the council that Washington will continue to support negotiations between the two sides.

“We have clearly reached a difficult moment, but we continue to believe that there is only one real viable solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: two states living side by side in peace and security,” she said.

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