Israel Heightens Security Ahead of Palestinian Statehood Appeal

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 9:11 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Israel heightened security on Friday as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prepared to formally ask the United Nations for statehood recognition.

Israeli police say they have deployed 22,000 security officers, in areas that include Jerusalem and the West Bank, to respond to possible unrest from planned Palestinian rallies.

Mr. Abbas plans to appeal for the recognition of a Palestinian state as a full member of the U.N. in a speech before the General Assembly on Friday.

The move is opposed by Israel and the United States.

The French news agency quoted French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe as saying on Friday that the Palestinian effort to get statehood recognition in the U.N. Security Council was headed towards a “dead end,” because of a threatened U.S. veto.

The U.S. has been pushing Israel and the Palestinian 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 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.