'All Hell' Breaks Out in Palestine's Statehood Bid

US lawmakers threaten to nix funding
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2011 3:27 PM CDT
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures before the start of a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the 66th session of the General Assembly at United Nations headquarters...   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – "All hell has broken out" in Palestine's bid for statehood recognition at the UN, says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The United States has threatened to veto it, Israel opposes it, and dozens of House Democrats have penned a letter saying the US "will reconsider its assistance program" if Palestine keeps pushing. “It’s not a matter of threats," says Abbas, but Washington has told him "that things will be very difficult after September." Abbas says he's under "tremendous pressure."

Last week, Hillary Clinton sent envoys to the Middle East in an effort to restart negotiations between Israel and Palestine, Politico reports. But Israel won't come to the table unless there are zero preconditions; the Palestinians insist Israel accept preconditions, including a reinstated moratorium on building in the West Bank. Now, facing a certain US veto, some Palestinian officials want to upgrade their status from "entity" to "non-member state" at the UN General Assembly. But so far Abbas is sticking with his UN Security Council bid. "Afterwards," he says, "we will sit and decide." (Read more Palestine stories.)

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