By BosNewsLife News Center

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (l) handing over paperwork to U.N. Secretary Ban-Ki Moon.

NEW YORK, UNITED NATIONS (BosNewsLife)– Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  officially asked the United Nations on Friday, September 23, to recognize Palestine as an independent state, despite fierce resistance from the United States and Israel.

Abbas handed over the necessary paperwork, including  a letter requesting U.N. membership, to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, before delivering his speech at the annual General Assembly. Ban was to submit the request to the Security Council, where the United States was expected to veto the bid.

The Palestinian leader’s announcement came while at home clashes erupted in the West Bank ahead of his speech.

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man near Nablus in the West Bank on Friday, September 23, after a confrontation erupted between Palestinians and Jewish settlers, news reports said. Palestinian protesters hurled rocks at Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and near Ramallah, according to reporters.

Trying to forestall Friday’s statehood bid, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks, which stopped a year ago.


Abbas, who has refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, rebuffed the appeals.

Speaking to Palestinian Americans who came to his hotel Thursday night, September 22, Abbas told his guests that Washington had “aggressively” sought to deter him from the move but that he had insisted on proceeding. “There are small countries in the world that have gained their freedom and independence but we still haven’t got ours.  So we are going to demand this right.”

The Voice of America (VOA) network quoted an aide to Abbas as saying however that the Palestinian president believes the bid for U.N. membership will not prevent serious peace negotiations with Israel.

Israel said it had deployed 22,000 security officers across the country in advance of the widely anticipated speech to respond to possible unrest.

The U.N. Security Council could take weeks to consider the statehood application, which would allow more time for diplomacy before the Palestinians consider their next move – approaching the U.N. General Assembly to upgrade their status to a non-voting observer state, analysts said. (BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key general news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals).


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