Palestine requests full U.N. membership

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas submitted a “historic” request to UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Sept. 23, asking the United Nations to admit the state of Palestine as a full member. Just after Abbas handed in the request, he was greeted with a standing ovation as he entered the hall of the General Assembly. While the bid for statehood is widely supported by the nations in the General Assembly, it is not expected get through the Security Council. President Obama vowed that the U.S. will veto any resolution backing Palestinian statehood despite claiming to support a two-state solution.

Palestinians celebrated the bid in the West Bank, showing overwhelming support for President Abbas as they chanted his name in the streets of Ramallah, the political capital of the territory. However, Hamas rulers stifled any support shown in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has expressed the need for peace in the region and a two-state solution.  However, Abbas, referred to as “a man deeply committed to peace” by award winning human rights lawyer and director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza Raji Sourani, has said negotiations remain his preference, but that he will not resume peace talks – frozen since 2008 – unless Israel agrees to the pre-1967 frontier as a baseline and freezes all settlement construction in the occupied territories.

The bid will be reviewed and voted upon in the UN Security Council in the coming weeks.

Information taken from democracynow.org and english.aljazeera.net

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