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Abbas to demand full Palestinian statehood


Abbas to demand full Palestinian statehood

Palestinian leader Abbas says he will request full UN membership next week. The move is likely to spark a diplomatic dispute with Israel and the US, where some politicians have threatened to try to stop financial aid.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has set the scene for a row next week at the United Nations, where he has promised to request full state membership after addressing the General Assembly on September 23.

In a televised address, Abbas told Palestinians he would submit the request for full membership for a Palestinian state to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"It is our legitimate right," said Abbas, "to demand the full membership of the state of Palestine in the UN."

But Israel and the United States are against the idea.

If Abbas were successful, it would mean Palestine was internationally recognized as an official state.

However, the US and Israel say a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiation and Washington has said it will veto any statehood resolution at the UN. Some American politicians have also said they would try to stop US financial aid to the Palestinian people.

Option two

Abbas' other option is to take his request to the General Assembly. While it doesn't have the power to grant full membership, it could recognize Palestine as a non-member state.

Non-member status would give Palestinians access to other international bodies like the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinian leader says he wants to "to put an end to a historical injustice by attaining liberty and independence [based] on the borders of June 4, 1967."

Those borders existed before the 1967 Six Day War, and included Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will also appear before the UN next week to explain his country's opposition to the Palestinian plan.

Author: Zulfikar Abbany (dpa, AFP)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

Source: Deutsche Welle



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