Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas formally requested UN membership from the Security Council on Friday, despite protestations from Israel and the U.S. that such status would be symbolic and would not substitute for Middle East peace negotiations. Abbas said UN membership is a crucial stepping stone towards Palestinian statehood, which he called “the realization of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke following Abbas at the UN General Assembly in New York, called the UN a “theatre of the absurd,” and accused Palestinians of seeking “a state without peace.” The Security Council is expected to vote on the issue next week.
Categories: Need to know
Palestinians submit application for U.N. membership
Israel and U.S. stand firmly against statehood bid