Jordan king visits occupied West Bank to congratulate Palestinian officials on upgrade

Jordan king visits occupied West Bank to congratulate Palestinian officials on upgrade
# 07 December 2012 02:48 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Jordan’s King Abdullah has paid a rare visit to Israel-occupied West Bank to congratulate Palestinian officials on their recent success in winning status upgrade at the UN for Palestine, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Thursday’s visit, during which the Jordanian monarch met with the acting Palestinian Authority chief, Mahmoud Abbas, is the first by a head of state to the West Bank since the UN General Assembly upgraded Palestine’s status at the world body from non-member observer entity to non-member observer state last month.

Palestine now enjoys access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court.

The vote is seen as a long-sought victory for the Palestinians, but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States.

The United States and Israel have spared no means for the past two years to stymie the Palestinians’ efforts towards upgrading Palestine’s status at the UN, arguing that it is only through negotiations with Israel that Palestinian statehood ambitions can yield. The US blocked Palestine’s full membership bid at the UN Security Council last year, using its veto power.

In 2010, Israel bought talks with the Palestinians to a halt after it refused to extend a moratorium on its settlement activities on the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Jordanian officials have also sharply criticized Israel's recently-announced plan to build thousands more settler units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank in apparent retaliation for the upgrade.

“The world has rejected settlements as unconstructive and illegal and there have been condemnations from numerous countries to this decision,” said Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh.