United Nations (AP) - Palestinian diplomats found international support Wednesday for their complaint that Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory are illegal, but the U.S. strongly opposed bringing the matter up in the U.N. Security Council.
During a council session that lasted most of the day, representatives of dozens of countries supported Palestinian complaints about continued construction of settlements while peace efforts falter.
Although a draft council resolution circulated on the matter never came to a vote Wednesday - and would surely have failed because of
In another move for international recognition, Palestinians raised their flag over the PLO diplomatic mission in
Early in Wednesday's U.N. session, the
It was presented as the council engaged in open debate on the
It is unclear when a vote on the matter may be scheduled, but Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian observer to the U.N., suggested it may not be considered for some time.
"If it was up to us, we would love to see the Security Council acting on it immediately," Mansour said during a session break, acknowledging that
Key Middle East peace issues "can be resolved only through negotiations between the parties - and not by recourse to the Security Council," said Rosemary A. DiCarlo, deputy
But DiCarlo said the
The proposed resolution reiterates demands that
The resolution also calls on
"The Palestinians have made a series of commitments that all the issues of dispute between us and them should be resolved in direct negotiations," said Regev. "By refusing to negotiate, they are breaking their most fundamental commitments to what the process is about."
U.S.-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, launched in September, quickly broke down over
Briefing the council, B. Lynn Pascoe, the U.N. undersecretary-general for political affairs, said that U.N. officials are worried about a lack of progress on a negotiated peace settlement and noted that the Quartet peacemakers will meet in
"Peace and Palestinian statehood cannot be delayed," he said.
Pascoe repeated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's calls for
"Further settlement expansion in the West Bank, including
He said there had been a sharp increase in settlement construction since a building moratorium ended on Sept. 26, with construction started on as many as 2,000 units in the
Pascoe also said U.N. officials remain "extremely concerned" about increased tensions in
Associated Press writer Ian Deitch in