Clashes Erupt Ahead of Palestinian Statehood Bid

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 11:21 am (UTC-5)
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Clashes have erupted in the West Bank ahead of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' formal request for United Nations statehood recognition.

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man near Nablus in the West Bank on Friday after a confrontation erupted between Palestinians and Jewish settlers. Meanwhile, Palestinian protesters hurled rocks at Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and near Ramallah.

Mr. Abbas is preparing to address the U.N. General Assembly on Friday and formally ask the world body to recognize a Palestinian state. The move is opposed by Israel and the United States.

Israel says it had deployed 22,000 security officers across the country in advance of the speech to respond to possible unrest.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has been pushing Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks, which stalled a year ago.

However, Mr. Abbas has rebuffed all appeals to drop the statehood bid. He has said he will submit his proposal to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday.

An aide to Mr. Abbas said Thursday the Palestinian president believes the bid for U.N. membership will not prevent serious peace negotiations with Israel.

The U.N. Security Council could take weeks to consider the application, which would allow more time for diplomacy before the Palestinians consider their next move – approaching the U.N. General Assembly to upgrade their status to a non-voting observer state.