Palestinians to bid for UN membership this month

November 12, 2012 - 5:11:02 am

A Palestinian youth stands along a side walk with a mural behind him depicting the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (R) and the late Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in Gaza City yesterday, as Palestinians commemorate the eighth anniversary of Arafat's death

RAMALLAH: The Palestinians will submit a bid to the General Assembly this month for non-state membership of the United Nations, despite US opposition, president Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday.

Abbas also spoke out in favour of the exhumation of veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s body to establish the cause of his death and revealed Russia was involved in the efforts.

“We’re going to the United Nations in November 2012, not 2013, or 2014,” Abbas said at an event commemorating the eighth anniversary of the death of Arafat.

“Israel’s hysterical reaction to our UN bid is due to its desire to continue the occupation and we are under pressure of late from multiple parties to waive our just demand, but we will not,” 

Abbas added.

His spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina revealed later yesterday that US President Barack Obama told Abbas that his administration opposes the Palestinian bid for non-state membership.

“There was a long telephone conversation,” he. “Obama expressed the opposition of the United States to the decision to go to the UN General Assembly.”

Abbas explained “the reasons and motives for the Palestinian decision ... including the continued (Jewish) settlement activity and Israeli aggression against citizens and property.”

Israel and the US insist that a Palestinian state can only result from peace negotiations. AFP