To pursue War Crime Charges.................
November 22, 2012 "The Hill" - -Senators
from both parties warned Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
on Wednesday that he will be putting millions of dollars
of U.S. aid at risk if he goes forward with his planned
statehood bid at the United Nations next week.
Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), co-authors
of a Senate resolution denouncing the statehood
bid, wrote to the Palestinian Authority president on
Wednesday warning him that any such efforts may
cause consequences in regards to U.S. policy and foreign
aid. The resolution reaffirming the U.S. preference
for a negotiated two-state solution to the long-lasting
Middle East conflict passed unanimously in late June.
to bypass direct negotiations and
unilaterally seek upgraded status at the U.N., they
wrote, we want to again remind you of the potential
for significant consequences.
of State Hillary Clinton said in announcing a Gaza cease-fire
Wednesday that the United States would pursue a comprehensive
peace, raising hopes that the Obama administration
would rekindle two-state peace talks that have been
frozen for the past three years over disagreements about
Israeli settlements and future borders.
Palestinians, however, have grown impatient for the two-state
solution that has been under negotiation since the 1970s.
Congress blocked U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority
last year after Abbas sought U.N. membership, a move that
was derailed by a U.S. veto threat at the Security
Council. President Obama signed a waiver in April
removing the block on the $192 million aid package,
calling it "important to the security interests of
the United States."
This time, the United States cannot veto the move because
Abbas is seeking observer status, akin to that of the
Vatican. Doing so could allow the Palestinians to pursue
war crime charges against Israel at the U.N.'s
International Criminal Court, according to some experts.
Palestine is expected to easily gain statehood
recognition if it seeks it, Middle East expert Jonathan
Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
said at a Capitol Hill briefing this week. Schanzer said
Abbas has been building support for the past seven years,
starting with a visit to Latin America in 2005.