Palestinians Invite Security Council To Visit [View all]
UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The Palestinians have invited the U.N. Security Council to visit the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, a move Israel says is an attempt to try to divert attention from getting back to direct negotiations to settle the decades-old conflict.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. observer, told reporters after a council meeting on the Mideast on Tuesday that he sent a letter inviting the 15 council members "to see with their own eyes the reality of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory" including Israel's "illegal" settlement building.
Israel's United Nations Ambassador Ron Prosor, who followed Mansour to the microphone, expressed surprise at the invitation saying "this is an attempt to try and divert attention, and again try and internationalize the conflict, and not really try and stick to what is important on both sides — and that is direct negotiations."
Mansour and Prosor spoke after U.N. political chief B. Lynn Pascoe told the council that exploratory low-level talks in Amman, Jordan between the Israelis and Palestinians had stalled and prospects for resuming direct negotiations "remain dim."