Skip to comments.Abbas submits Palestine statehood bid to UN [UPDATE: Netanyahu is speaking live]
Posted on 09/23/2011 9:57:19 AM PDT by Eyes Unclouded
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has handed over a historic request to UN chief Ban Ki-moon asking the United Nations to admit the state of Palestine as a full member.
The Palestinian leader won huge applause and a standing ovation on Friday from some of the assembly as he entered the hall before beginning his speech.
Abbas said he was ready to return to the negotiations, saying he did not want to isolate or delegitimize Israel.
"Here I declare that the Palestine Liberation Organization is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of reference ... and a complete cessation of settlement activities," he told the UN General Assembly.
Palestinians across the West Bank celebrated the formal submission of their bid to become a United Nations member state, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.
In city centres, giant television screens were set up so residents could watch Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, deliver a historic address to the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly.
The Palestinian religious affairs ministry directed mosques to issue calls "thanking Allah and asking him to help president Abbas to fulfill our people's dreams".
In Ramallah, the political capital of the West Bank, many cars were flying the Palestinian flag, and posters of Abbas and his predecessor, the late Yasser Arafat, festooned in the streets.
Near the Muqataa, Abbas's presidential headquarters, flags of the more than 125 nations that have recognised a Palestinian state flew in a circle around a Palestinian flag.
But in a sign of mounting tension, one Palestinian man died after being shot by Israeli troops who intervened in a clash between villagers and Jewish settlers south of the West Bank city of Nablus.
Streets have been largely empty on Friday and many people hurried home after midday prayers to escape a fast-moving storm.
In the southern city of Hebron, the municipality building was draped with a three-metre poster of Abbas and "Palestine 194", and similar decorations were hung in the northern cities of Nablus and Jenin.
"In Ramallah today, we expect to see [a rally of] around 10,000 people or even more," said Al Jazeera's Cal Perry, reporting from Ramallah.
"But [tension] is now being magnified on a global scale because of what's happening in New York," our correspondent said. "People on the ground here know the world is watching."
At the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, the Israeli army fired tear gas into the crowds, with a military spokeswoman saying "around 100 rioters" were throwing stones at the troops.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that clashes also broke out in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras Al-Amud.
In Nabi Saleh village, protesters chanted support for the UN bid, but activists also burnt a picture of Barack Obama, the US president, who has vowed to veto the membership bid at the UN Security Council.
Full membership bid
Full UN membership can only be bestowed by the Security Council where Abbas' request will almost certainly be derailed, either by a failure to win the needed nine votes in the 15-member body or, if the necessary majority is obtained, by a veto.
The Palestinians say they are seeking full UN membership to underscore their right to statehood, but have left open the option of a lesser alternative - a non-member observer state.
Such status would be granted by the General Assembly, where the Palestinians maintain broad support.
Siding with Israel, Obama has said a Palestinian state can only be established as a result of negotiations, and that there is no short-cut to Palestinian independence.
Abbas has said negotiations remain his preference, but that he will not resume talks - frozen since 2008 - unless Israel agrees to the pre-1967 frontier as a baseline and freezes all settlement construction on occupied land.
"The American administration did everything in its power to disrupt our project, but we are going through with it despite the obstacles and the pressure because we are asking for our rights," Abbas said late on Thursday.
"There are small countries in the world that have gained their freedom and independence, but we still haven't got ours," he told the Palestinian community in New York.
Palestinian state television has carried wall-to-wall coverage of the diplomatic drama playing out in New York, interviewing local officials and politicians and running a series of advertisements backing the UN membership push.
One featured a jigsaw puzzle of the globe as depicted in the UN logo, but with with a missing piece.
From the side of the screen, a piece in the colours of the Palestinian flag flies across and slots into place, completing the puzzle.
The three main Palestinian newspapers also dedicated their front pages to the bid, and the inside pages were dotted with paid advertisements from individuals and businesses expressing their support for Abbas and the UN move.
"The president delivers his speech to the General Assembly and presents a request for recognition of the state of Palestine," read the headline in Al-Quds newspaper, emblazoned over pictures of pro-bid demonstrations.
Another cartoon in the paper used the famous image of US soldiers raising their flag during the battle of Iwo Jima, replacing the US flag with the Palestinian one and the soldiers with Palestinians, some in traditional garb.
Al-Ayyam's headline read: "The president presents a request for full membership for Palestine in front of the world", while on the back, a cartoon showed Abbas at the UN podium shouting into a loudspeaker: "Freedom for Palestine".
In the Gaza Strip, however, life was continuing as normal with no sign of any activity to mark the UN bid, which has not been backed by the territory's Hamas rulers. Hamas activists in the West Bank reportedly declared Friday a "day of rage".
Speaking hours before Abbas was due to speak, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the UN bid would not bring independence.
"Our Palestinian people do not beg for a state ... States are not built upon UN resolutions. States liberate their land and establish their entities," he said.
Watch the live stream at the UN.
When he told the general assembly and held up a copy of the formal application for statehood (based on 1967 borders) he got a standing ovation. Must be feeling pretty lonely in Israel right now. Netanyahu is going to speak soon so keep your eyes on the livestream.
Obama got dissed after his ‘warning’, and his ‘love and peace for all mankind’ UN speech.
Let’s see how he responds, this time around is not like his Copehengen trip in failed Chicago Olympics bid by simply flying home.
This is a ‘slap in your face’ chagllenge, there is no chance Obama can find a way to ‘save face’ for himself (notice I didn’t say USA) or all the parties involved.
My bet is that we won’t come to this sad state with a President Hillary (spit).
“Admit us because we fulfill the criteria of a lawful civil society.. or we’ll kill you.”
This is absurd. The PA admitted yesterday it can't support itself. Abbas's writ does not run in Gaza, which does not support his bid. Will the corrupt thugs and fools who comprise the UN declare Gaza to be part of Abbas's "state" even if they don't want to be? Today we find out the so-called Palestinian "refugees" will not be citizens of this so-called state, even the ones living in "Palestine." This is a fantasy game played for political gain with no relation to reality. It's like declaring the sun rises in the west and everyone pretending it does.
I guess Abbas and the PA have taken the measure of the boy-president Obama, and decided there wouldn't be any consequences.
They want Jerusalem as their capital.......this must never be allowed.
The Palestinians are like filthy wild animals.....they don’t deserve a state.
Those were the borders between Israel and Jordan!
Jordan gave up the land, and they never even dreamed of making a Palestine nation out of it.
How on Earth can these creeps just declare a nation out of something that never existed is beyond me.
time to break out the popcorn . . . could get interesting
18:06 (13:06) During his speech Abbas said he was calling for a return to the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Better report them to #AttackWatch...
Abbas got a standing ovation from the UN Membeship while Palistinians celebrate in the streets....and that is telling as to the weakness of the US on the International Stage....no longered respsected let alone feared the world marches forward under ‘a different drummer’ now......
Netenyahue up in few minutes ...let’s hear his reaction to this...aljazerra let’s us see the ME response and good to know how they are reacting.
18:16 (13:16) Not everyone was cheering for Abbas at the UN. AFP was watching US ambassadord Susan Rice:
Rice led the US delegation listening to Abbas’ speech in the General Assembly hall. While the Palestinian leader was given wild acclaim at the end of his speech, Rice and two other US diplomats sat in silence and did not applaud. The Israeli delegation, led by deputy UN ambassador Haim Waxman, also remained stoically immobile during the raucous applause.
Same as Obama.
zer0âs arab spring may (now fall in the northern hemisphere) inflame the entire region. zer0âs election was America’s arab fall. Best guess ... Israel would be wise to call up all reserves, and go full alert. This situation should never have been allowed, where the palestinians have been allowed to burn the negotiating table (imho). Now the palestinians will never recognize Israel nor will any other arab nation once this vote takes place (imho). Still not certain zer0 will not change his mind at the last minute and say vote for the palestinian state. This is what my belief is of the corruption of the zer0.
Heads’s up....Bee Bee’s speaking now at UN after Abbass speech
Be-Be just revealed to the International Community Hamas is heading the Security Council...a known terrorist group...adding “you can’t make this up!”
“Peace must rest in security”...Netenyahu
“Some of you left this hall all of you should have”........Bee bee referencing walk out after Abendiddydad’s speech