Abbas: We're Going for Statehood

Palestinian leader says he needs world to 'recognize the occupation'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2011 12:51 PM CDT
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he talks in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Sept. 16, 2011.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

(Newser) – It’s official: Mahmoud Abbas will demand full UN membership from the Security Council next week, despite an almost certain veto from the US. Abbas formally committed to the gambit for the first time in a speech today, the New York Times reports, saying that “We need a state, a seat at the United Nations, and nothing more.” The US had hoped it could talk Abbas out of the move.

But the AP notes that Abbas downplayed expectations, saying the move wouldn’t grant Palestine its independence. “The occupation will not come to an end,” he said. “But we will at least have recognition that we are under occupation, and not a disputed territory as Israel says.” He also said that he wasn’t trying to isolate or delegitimize Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Israel is there, no one can isolate or take away its legal status,” he said, “but we need to isolate the policies of Israel.” (Read more Israel stories.)

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