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UN marks 63rd anniversary of partition of Palestine

12-02-2010 11:31 BJT

by William M. Reilly

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- More than 40 speakers over two days earlier this week marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in the UN General Assembly.

The day is marked on the anniversary of the Nov. 29, 1947 adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution which attempted to establish Arab and Jewish states in the region. The UN meeting concluded late on Tuesday.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message to the session called on both Israelis and Palestinians to show statesmanship and political courage to reach peace.

He noted there was little optimism on either side that peace could be achieved soon, let alone within the one year target date set by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when they resumed direct talks in September.

Ban reiterated calls on Israel to freeze settlement activity and to the Palestinians to fight terrorism and curb incitement.

"Soon after direct talks on final status began in September, they were undermined by the expiry of Israel's commendable settlement moratorium," the secretary-general said in the message.

"Construction of hundreds of new units throughout the West Bank commenced, and new approvals for settlements in East Jerusalem were given," he continued. "This development is a serious blow to the credibility of the political process. The obligation remains on Israel to meet its responsibilities under international law and the Road Map to freeze settlement activity."

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