Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Olmert slams Israel on Palestinian UN bid

04 December 2012, 11:31

New York - Israel had no reason to oppose Palestine's UN observer state membership, according to ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert, who plans to announce on Wednesday whether he will run in the next polls.

"I have made my decision and I will announce it in two days," Olmert said of his political future, after a speech in New York late on Monday during which he renewed criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He said a decision to announcement new settlements in a sensitive occupied area was "certain to offend" the United States after it backed Israel in opposing the Palestinian bid to become a non-member state.

"To be honest with you, I am not sure there was a reason to oppose the request from the Palestinian Authority to upgrade their status," Olmert said in his speech.

Olmert, who is seeking to rebound from a corruption case that forced him to stand down as premier in 2008, said the UN vote last week served Israeli interests more than Palestinian ones because it boosted hopes for a two-state solution.

The former premier praised the "outstanding expression of courage" shown by the US administration in backing Israel at the UN last week. The United States and Israel were among only nine countries to oppose the Palestinians.

Time running out

Israel should have thanked the United States, he added.

"I was utterly surprised - as I can see now were most countries in the world - that the next morning the Israeli government decided to do the one thing that was certain to offend the policymakers of the United States" by announcing the new settlements, Olmert added.

The Netanyahu government has said it will build 3 000 homes, some in the E1 area of the West Bank linking annexed East Jerusalem to the Maaleh Adumim Jewish settlement.

Olmert said he had agreed to a request by former US president George W Bush's administration not to build in E1 because the Palestinians would not agree to peace talks.

"Time is running out" for a settlement with the Palestinians, Olmert added as he condemned any move to dismiss the importance of peace efforts in the campaign for the 22 January election.

"It will be an historical mistake that will be disastrous to the life, to the people to the future of the state of Israel," said Olmert, who has until the end of the week to register to stand in the election.

Cleared on serious charges

Netanyahu is the overwhelming favourite in the election. But Olmert, who returns to Jerusalem on Tuesday vowed to "use every platform in the state of Israel in whatever position I will have in order to make sure that we will not miss the opportunity".

The former leader of the opposition Kadima party stepped down as prime minister in 2008 after police called for corruption charges.

In July, a court found Olmert guilty of breach of trust but cleared him on two more serious charges related to the alleged receipt of cash-stuffed envelopes and multiple-billing for trips abroad.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...