Abbas says determined to seek statehood

Nov. 25, 2012 at 8:05 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Undeterred by Israeli and U.S. threats, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is determined to seek non-member observer status at the United Nations.

"We are going to the United Nations fully confident in our steps," Israel Radio quoted Abbas as saying Sunday. Abbas will depart for New York on Monday.

Despite efforts by the United States, Abbas is determined to go ahead with the move Thursday, which coincides with the anniversary of the U.N. vote to partition Mandatory Palestine in 1947.

During a meeting with the Palestinian president in Ramallah last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Abbas if he goes ahead, it would lead to the cancellation of American financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. It would also mean an end to the Palestinian Liberation Organization representation in Washington, the Hebrew language daily Yedioth Ahronoth said.

Israel has yet to decide what specific action it will take in response to Abbas' bid, but has been warned by the American administration to refrain from taking steps that could cause the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the newspaper said.

An unnamed Israeli government official told The Jerusalem Post if Abbas goes ahead with the move: "He has to know he will pay a price. This is a fundamental and unacceptable violation of previous agreements, and Israel reserves the right to respond."

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