Monday, 24 February 2014

PA 'could address UN' over Israeli settlement boycott

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian diplomats could address the United Nations concerning a boycott of Israeli settlements if peace talks fail, a Palestinian diplomat said Monday.

Speaking to Ma'an on the condition of anonymity, the diplomat said that officials could address the boycott of "everything related to Israeli settlements."

Practical steps taken by the European Union and financial institutions have laid the groundwork for the Palestinian leadership "to give us the green light so we can take practical moves and openly ask the UN General Assembly to announce that it is forbidden for states and international companies and agencies to deal with settlements."

"One may say that such a decision by the General Assembly wouldn't be binding, but if 50 countries show readiness to this boycott, that will be a triumph," added the diplomat.

The PA could also apply to join the International Criminal Court and complain about "war crimes" such as illegal settlements. more

Hamas govt says to privatize Gaza crossings

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- The Hamas government has said it plans to let private contractors take over the running of the Palestinian territory's border crossings with Egypt and Israel.

"The government is to give the private sector the opportunity to handle the technical management of crossing points from the Gaza Strip," Hamas deputy prime minister Ziad al-Zaza told AFP on Saturday and said that a commission of seven businessmen would be dedicated to the project.

"Supervision of all terminals will be under government control," said Zaza, who is also finance minister.

The coastal strip, whose air and sea lanes are blocked by Israel, has three land crossings; Erez and Kerem Shalom with Israel and Rafah with Egypt.

Kerem Shalom is for goods only, while Erez and Rafah are for passenger traffic. more