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Britain’s Palestine vote undermines peace prospects: Israel

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Jerusalem, Oct 14:

Israel Tuesday warned that the British parliament’s vote in favour of recognising a Palestinian state risked undermining the prospects for peace.

Picture Courtesy: tabtimes.com
Picture Courtesy: tabtimes.com

“Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace,” a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said.

Israeli Labour leader and opposition head, Isaac Herzog, said that the British vote was “another resounding failure for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” and urged the Israeli leadership to advance Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s call to adopt the Arab League Peace Initiative, The Times of Israel reported.

Opening a Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo Sunday, Sissi urged Israel to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians, based on the Arab Peace Initiative, first proposed in 2002.

Netanyahu had signaled willingness to resume peace talks brokered by Arab countries in his UN General Assembly address Sep 30.

Late Monday, British MPs voted 274 to 12 for a non-binding motion to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.

The resolution was welcomed by the Palestinians.

“It will enhance the European voices calling for the recognition of the State of Palestine and will create the right environment for the international community to grant the Palestinian people legal parity and rights,” senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official, Hanan Ashrawi, said.

Palestinians estimate that 134 countries have recognised Palestine as a state, although the number is disputed and several recognitions by what are now European Union (EU) member states date from the Soviet era.

Britain abstained in 2012 from a vote in the UN on giving the Palestinians the rank of non-member observer state, which was granted over the objections of the US and Israel.

(IANS)