Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Speaking on the 1st day of the UNGA session, Obama rejects the Palestinian statehood bid and gives what some analysts (e.g., WP 9/22) call “his clearest statement of support and sympathy for Israel” and “a retreat from his early ambitions to help broker an enduring peace.” Obama and Clinton each meet separately with Abbas and Netanyahu later in the day. Abbas repeats that the statehood bid is not meant to preclude negotiations, and that the Palestinians hope to resume negotiations as soon as possible, with a settlement freeze and agreement on 1967 lines as the basis of talks. Details of talks with Netanyahu are not released. (NYT, WP, WT 9/22; WP 9/23)

French pres. Nicholas Sarkozy puts forward a last-minute proposal to avert a crisis at the UN, offering to host immediate Israeli-Palestinian talks with broad international mediation and the goal of reaching a comprehensive final status agreement within 1 year, provided that the Palestinians accept observer-state status at the UN and pledge not to “undertake actions incompatible with the continuation of negotiations.” (NYT, WT 9/22)

As the UNGA session opens in New York, 1,000s of Palestinians rally in Ramallah and Nablus in the 1st of 2 big rallies in support of statehood (the other is planned for 9/23). IDF undercover units enter Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron at midday, raiding a carpentry workshop and arresting 1 Palestinian. The IDF blocks at least 30 armed Jewish settlers fr. Mevo Dotan settlement nr. Jenin attempting to enter nearby ‘Araba village. (PCHR 9/22; OCHA 9/30)