Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
announced on Saturday that by the end of September he will ask the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian Authority as a non-member observer state.
At a press conference held in Ramallah, Abbas attempted to shift focus from the economic protests
that have rocked the West Bank recently, instead trying to garner the public's support by reviving the PA's statehood bid, which was sidelined last year. He asserted that there are 133 countries that have recognized a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Nevertheless, he said that "There are many challenges and much pressure aiming to stop us from turning to the UN."
The leader stressed that the United States has expressed support for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, but slammed the US Democratic Party's decision to reinstate a platform
reference that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"How can such a major power change its mind all the time?" he pondered, adding: "East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine."
Abbas also postulated that "Israel won't agree to stop the settlement and return to the borders of '67. This is what the Israeli prime minister said."
Addressing the acts of vandalism
that desecrated the Latrun Monastery earlier this week, Abbas suggested that the assailants were not free agents.
"The settlements, the destruction of homes, the uprooting of trees and the attacks on mosques and churches are not random," he said. "These people do not act alone."
The PA currently holds the status of an observer entity at the UN. A status of an observer state, equal to the standing of the Vatican, would deem the PA eligible to serve on various UN agencies and the International Criminal Court.
The support of the majority of the UN's 193 states would be enough to upgrade the PA's status without the need for a Secuirty Council vote, where such a bid would be struck down by the US veto.