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PA's Statehood Resolution Defeated at Security Council


The United Nations Security Council failed on Tuesday night to adopt a resolution on Palestinian statehood, AFP reported.

Only eight countries voted in favor of the resolution, two voted against, and there were five abstentions. The resolution needed nine votes in its favor to have passed. France, China and Russia were among the countries that supported the text setting a 12-month deadline for negotiations on a final peace deal with Israel, reported AFP. Australia and the United States voted against.

The resolution failed to pass despite earlier claims by the Palestinian Authority that it had the necessary nine-vote majority to enable it to pass the resolution calling for recognition of a "Palestinian state" as well as an Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem by the end of 2017.

Had the resolution passed, it would have forced the United States - which has stated its firm opposition to such unilateral measures - to use its veto at the Security Council, potentially causing tensions with some of America's Arab allies in the UN.

As recently as Monday, PA foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki had indicated that the vote would be postponed until after the new year, after the vote was put off last Friday and again on Monday. Analysts believed the PA would be better off to wait until after January 1, when the make-up of the Security Council will change and more countries with pro-PA stances become members.

The United States reiterated on Monday that it does not support the unilateral draft resolution, with State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke saying Washington believes the resolution would not advance the goal of peace or address Israel's security needs.

"We don't think this resolution is constructive," Rathke told reporters. "We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion. Further, we think that the resolution fails to account for Israel's legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, integral to a sustainable settlement."

Drill at Negev Back-up Airport for Hamas Rockets


In response to the incessant Hamas rocket barrage during Operation Protective Edge that led international airlines to impose a temporary flight ban on Ben-Gurion International Airport in mid-July, Israel concluded a drill on Tuesday to have an alternate airport in the southern Negev for just such instances.

Ben-Gurion decided to hold a drill of closing the airport and operating instead the IAF's Ovda Military Airport located 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat in the Negev, which indeed was used during the flight ban.

In the drill which began earlier in the week and concluded on Tuesday, various airlines, the police, the Interior Ministry, ground services companies and all units of the Airports Authority took part, reported Walla!.

The drill tested the activities required by the various companies, including those providing fuel for the planes, as well as governmental offices in facilitating an easy transfer to Ovda Airport. An emphasis in the drill was placed on refreshing workers and testing the procedures for emergency programs while materializing the operational switch over to Ovda.

During the summer operation, the flight ban came after a rocket fired from Gaza struck a home in the central Israeli city of Yehud, which is near the Lod-based airport. Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) condemned the decisions to cancel flights as "surrendering to terrorism," and said that the threat to Ben-Gurion was being exaggerated.

Indeed, Hamas lost no time in applauding the airport closure, with Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri saying "the success of Hamas in closing Israeli airspace is a great victory for the resistance, and is the crown of Israel's failure."

PA Buries Har Nof Massacre Terrorists as 'Heaven-bound Martyrs'


After Israel last Thursday secretively returned for burial the bodies of Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, the two terrorists who carried out the massacre on a Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem last month murdering four Jews at prayer and a police officer, the Palestinian Authority lost no time praising the two "martyrs."

In the horrific attack the two terrorists beheaded two of their victims at prayer, using hatchets, knives and guns, and leaving an additional seven with horrific injuries, three of them seriously wounded. One of the two cousins was employed at a store adjacent to the synagogue.

But PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction saw fit last Thursday to praise the two on Facebook, posting a picture of their graves and calling them "martyrs...who ascended (to heaven)," reported Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

"This is the place of eternal rest of martyrs Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal of Jabel Mukaber (neighborhood) in occupied Jerusalem, who ascended (to heaven) a month and a half ago during an operation at an occupation synagogue in occupied Jerusalem. Early morning today, they were escorted to their graves at Al-Sawahreh Al- Sharqiyeh," read the Fatah post.

The PA's official news agency WAFA also honored the brutal murderers as "martyrs" in a report last Friday, revealed PMW. "The citizens of Jerusalem escorted the bodies of martyrs Ghassan and Uday Abu the place of their final rest in the Al-Sawahreh Al-Sharqiyeh cemetery, after they were held by the occupation for 37 days, and transferred to their relatives after midnight," wrote WAFA.

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