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UK warns Israel against lashing out at PA after successful UN bid

Following Palestine's UN triumph on Friday, UK warns Tel Aviv against taking actions against Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority (PA)

Amer Sultan in London , Friday 30 Nov 2012
Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledges applause after he addressed the United Nations General Assembly (Photo: AP)
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The UK has warned Israel against taking any actions against the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the UN General Assembly on Friday granted Palestine observer status.

It has also called on the US to lead the international community to reactivate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians with the aim of achieving a two-state solution.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Israel "to avoid reacting in a way that undermines the peace process and a return to negotiations."

"We would not support a reaction which sidelined [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas or risked collapse of the Palestinian Authority," he said in a statement.

Israel had threatened to topple Abbas and eliminate the PA if the Palestinians insisted on taking their case to the UN.

The UN General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution that endorsed a Palestinian bid to upgrade the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO)'s status from "entity" to "non-member observer state."    

During the vote at the UN, the UK abstained because Abbas refused to give guarantees to return to negotiations without preconditions. The UK government also insisted on assurances that the Palestinians would not immediately seek action against Israel at the International Criminal Court. London says that such action would likely make a return to negotiations impossible.

"In the absence of these assurances from President Abbas, the UK abstained on the vote," Hague said.

"It is now time to redouble our efforts to restart the peace process," a UK Foreign Office spokesperson told Ahram Online.

He called on Israel to stop building illegal Jewish-only settlements, and Palestinian factions to reconcile with each other in order to restart peace talks.

The international community, led by the US and supported by European nations, should exert efforts to revive the peace process, the spokesperson added.

The UK government pledged to actively support any US-led peace efforts to "give the Palestinian people the state that they need and deserve, and the Israeli people the security and peace they are entitled to through a negotiated two-state solution."

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