Palestine to request U.N. member status

Sept. 8, 2011 at 7:31 PM
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Palestine will seek recognition of statehood at the United Nations this month despite warnings from the United States, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said.

The Obama administration has said it will veto any request Palestinians make to the U.N. Security Council to be a member state. The administration warns some members of Congress are threatening to limit aid to the Palestinian government, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

 "We don't threaten," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. "But we are making sure that they are hearing the voices in Congress, which are getting increasingly loud on this subject."

If the request is vetoed, Palestinian officials say they will approach the General Assembly -- where they would need a majority vote for the state of Palestine to be upgraded from the status of observer to a non-member state. From there, the government could join U.N. bodies and conventions.

Haaretz reports legal experts say statehood status would enable Palestinians to bring Israeli officials before the International Criminal Court in the Hague, which has jurisdiction only for claims by U.N. member states, for claims stemming from its settlement policies in the West Bank.

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