Palestinian FM: Abbas ‘Euphoric’ Over UN Resolution That Could Motivate Boycotts, Lawsuits At ICC

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - JANUARY 27: In this handout image provided by the Palestinian Press Office, President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a meeting of the African Union on January 27, 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Photo by Thaer Ghanaim/PPO/Getty Images)
Thaer Ghanaim/PPO/Getty

TEL AVIV – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reacted with “euphoria” to the adoption of the anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council, saying it “proves that the world considers settlements illegal, and [recognizes that] they were built on our occupied land, including in east Jerusalem.”

Hebrew-language news site nrg cited PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki extolling the resolution because, “It will now be possible to establish a boycott of the settlements, and even impose legal sanctions against companies that work with them.”

Al-Maliki also told the Voice of Palestine radio show that the vote would allow the Palestinians “to return to the International Criminal Court (ICC) with more courage now, to pressure it and demand it speed up its procedures regarding Israeli settlements, since the UNSC resolution is binding.”

Al-Maliki added, “We are working on shaping a vision that sees 2017 as the year of the end of Israeli occupation.”

Mohammad Shtaiyeh, a close aide of Abbas and central committee member of his Fatah party, said that “a national team” would be established “to document land confiscation, settlement construction and seizure of water resources besides other illegal Israeli actions on the ground,” Chinese outlet Xinhua reported.

Shtaiyeh, who also served in the past as a Palestinian negotiator, said that the team would be formed with the help of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as part of the implementation of Friday’s UN resolution.

He added that it would pave the way for more punitive measures to be leveled against Israel: “The resolution allows us to activate international boycotts and encourages us to request from European states to take steps against settlers who hold European citizenships who are living on illegal settlements.”

Shtaiyeh praised President Barack Obama for foregoing the U.S.’s automatic veto and being “able to offer something to Palestine in the last quarter of its tenure.”

Shtaiyeh continued: “Israel used to say that Jerusalem is a unified capital and that the 1967 borders are not the final borders, claiming rights in the Palestinian territories, but now the world stab [sic] something else.”