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Local Palestinian And Jews React To UN Decision

Today, Israel authorized the building of 3,000 settler homes in occupied Palestinian territories. The decision comes a day after the United Nations General Assembly upgraded Palestine to a "non-member state." KUHF's Shomial Ahmad went out to get local reaction to that vote.


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At the Mediterranean Grill Al-Aseel on Richmond Avenue, the drones of Arabic music and the smell of mint smoke wafts in the air. Ali Khatib is the grill owner and is a Palestinian from Ramallad. He says the resolution is one step but it’s not enough:

“Well, mixed reaction: happiness and sadness, because it’s just a resolution. We hope we like got the whole thing — the state — one day.”

Al Aseel
Al-Aseel in Southwest Houston is one of the places to get Palestinian-style grilled chicken

Khatib says that right now, he’s not really celebrating. He’ll do that when they have a state in reality. But some people in his restaurant are celebrating. Raed Alfaleet is originally from Gaza. After he watched the news, he told his wife.

“Hey, stop cooking. Let’s go get something fancy to eat and dessert, something like this, even the security guy I get him some sweet.”

Alfaleet says his hope is that now Palestinians can bring to the International Criminal Court litigation against Israeli settlements illegal under international law. The BBC’s website states about half a million Jews live in settlements “built since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

My Pita Bakery and Deli
My Pita Bakery and Deli is one of the places in Houston to get an Israeli-style Pita

At My Pita Bakery and Deli in Meyerland, Jewish customer Howard Derman doesn’t support the U.N. decision.

“It accomplishes nothing in a global sense. The Palestinians get moved one notch in terms of recognition, but I think their real goal was to get Israel in front of the courts.”

Derman says he supports a Palestinian state but not until Israel is secure. Several Israelis in Houston didn’t want to be recorded. They were ambivalent about the decision. One said he doesn’t like to talk politics but he likes hanging out with his Arab friends here in Houston, and there in Israel.