By Ted Regencia and Janet Upadhye
On one corner of Southern Boulevard and 163rd Street, a 25-year-old Palestinian refugee stirred chicken kebabs over a hot fryer in his halal cart, contemplating the tensions between his country and Israel being reignited this week in the United Nations General Assembly.
Down the block in Hunts Point where Musab Abusbeih peddled his $5 kebab and shawarma specials, Jewish and Palestinian-owned businesses operate peacefully side by side. Abusbeih believes that if only the warring parties learned to talk like the merchants of Hunts Point peace might be attainable.
“We don’t even fight about parking on this block,” said Ron Levy, a former Israeli soldier. “And everybody fights about parking in New York City.”
Downtown in United Nations headquarters last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought official statehood recognition from the General Assembly. Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu opposed Palestine’s unilateral declaration of statehood, saying a two-state solution can only be achieved through a negotiated settlement, which would include Hamas dropping its call for the destruction of Israel.
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