Palestinians submit UN statehood bid
UNITED NATIONS — Defying U.S. and Israeli opposition, Palestinians asked the United Nations on Friday to accept them as a member state, sidestepping nearly two decades of troubled negotiations in the hope this dramatic move on the world stage would reenergize their quest for an independent homeland.
…In his letter to Ban accompanying the application, Abbas asked the U.N. chief to immediately forward the request for full U.N. membership to the Security Council and the General Assembly, according to a top aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the documents were submitted. The General Assembly will likely be asked to approve a more modest status upgrade if the bid in the council founders as expected.
Palestinian officials said they were not authorized to release copies of the document until Ban delivers it to the Security Council at an unspecified time.
To be sure, Abbas’ appeal to the U.N. to recognize Palestinian independence in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip would not deliver any immediate changes on the ground: Israel would remain an occupying force in those first two territories and continue to severely restrict access to Gaza, ruled by Palestinian Hamas militants.
Beyond that, Security Council action on the membership request could take weeks or months.