Statehood Bid

Abbas: The Time Has Come


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he speaks about his bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations next week, during a televised speech in the West Bank city of Ramallah September 16, 2011. Abbas said on Friday he would demand full membership of the United Nations when he goes the U.N. General Assembly next week, setting up a diplomatic clash with Israel and the United States.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was greeted with applause and whistles as he took the stage to deliver his request for United Nations recognition. Abbas condemned Israel's building of settlements, blaming the policy for the failure of the peace process and for undermining the Palestinian National Authority, which he said could collapse if the building continues. “The time has come also for the Palestinian spring, the time for independence," he said. Abbas formally requested for full state membership to the Security Council, while the U.S. and Israel have been pressuring Council members to either vote against or abstain from the membership request. Back in the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians celebrated the news, but in the village of Qusra Israeli forces shot and killed one man during clashes between protesters and Israeli settlers.