PA calls for "Day of Rage" Friday to protest US Veto at UNSC

Fayyad calls for unity government with Hamas

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PA calls for "Day of Rage" Friday to protest US Veto at UNSC

On Friday, the US used its veto at the United Nations Security Council to stop a measure sponsored by Lebanon on behalf of the Palestinian Authority which condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank. On Sunday, thousands of Palestinians gathered in Ramallah and other cities to protest.
"Obama, you despicable man, we want self-determination!" shouted protesters in Ramallah's Manara Square, while others chanted "get out Obama, get out you settler" and a banner was held aloft which proclaimed "No to negotiations with Israeli settlements and American arrogance."
Reacting to what he insisted were US threats to cut aid to the PA if the resolution were not withdrawn, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told reporters on Sunday that "we didn't and will not accept blackmail and neither will our people. We are not interested in aid from any party that threatens to cut it for political reasons. The US approach must change because these double standards cannot continue and this situation is unacceptable. The Americans have chosen to be alone in disrupting the internationally backed Palestinian efforts."
Fayyad also proposed a unity government with the Hamas terror militia which rules the Gaza Strip and has stymied attempts by the PA to hold elections in September. Fayyad's proposed deal includes clauses which would largely retain the status quo, with Hamas holding security control in Gaza and maintaining a cease-fire with Israel, while the Fatah dominated PA would retain political control over the Palestinian cities in the West Bank while a plan was hammered out to bring the two communities under a single governing authority.
"The split has been too long and should not continue, and it won't end by itself. We need to move to end the split," Fayyad said.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on ABC television Sunday and explained that while Washington has always stated that settlements are "illegitimate" the US had vetoed the resolution because it does not believe the UN is the proper venue to deal with negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We are in the middle of a battle and need to prepare for a very difficult period in the diplomatic realm," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a weekly meeting of Likud Ministers on Sunday. "This is not something that will come off the agenda. This is something serious that will happen again, and we need to take action on this matter."
"I believe that the US decision makes it clear that the only way to peace is direct negotiations, and not through the actions of international bodies, which are designed to bypass direct negotiations," he later told a meeting of the full cabinet, adding that Israel "deeply appreciates" the US veto.


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