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Abbas, Netanyahu address the UN Security Council

PA President: “It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom…”
By: Leonard Carl
Published: September 23rd, 2011 in News » World

As expected, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas officially made his bid for a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly on Friday morning, September 23.

Abbas had handed his proposal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon just prior to his speech late Friday morning.

Abbas made the bid despite increasing pressure from the United States and other countries to forgo the UN plan as an option, and rather hold direct negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The requests fell on deaf ears.

"It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence, the time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees in the Diaspora and the homeland," said Abbas whose statehood bid calls for the Security Council to recognize Palestine as a full UN member with its pre-1967 borders.

At this point, the Palestinians have permanent observer at the United Nations.

They need a minimum of nine out of 15 UN Security Council votes although, even if that was to happen, U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration has promised to use its veto.

Abbas told the General Assembly that Israel will not negotiate in good faith with his people while continuing to "frantically" build settlements on what Abbas called “the territory of the future state of Palestine."

It could be months before the Security Council votes on the Palestinian application.

Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu, who delivered his speech after Abbas, accused the Palestinians of racism and ethnic cleansing in their desire for a state with no Jewish settlers -- "Judenrein," as Netanyahu's said, using the Nazi term.

"That's ethnic cleansing,"said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu also said that while the Palestinians want a state of their own, peace in not a priority. "The truth is, so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate.The truth is the Palestinians want a state without peace,” he said.

Israel, which completely opposes the Palestinian’s pre-1967 condition, insists that Abbas officially recognize Israel's right to exist, and insists that Abbas’ appeal to the UN is just another attempt at avoiding direct negotiations.

Related articles: Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian State, UN General Assembly, Netanyahu,
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