Abbas proposes Palestinian UN upgrade, accuses Israel of ‘ethnic cleansing’

Click photo to download. Caption: PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at the UN Sept. 27. Credit: YouTube screenshot.

( Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 27, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas focused his remarks on his quest for upgraded Palestinian status at the UN while harshly attacking Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians.

According to Abbas, Israel is rewarded for its “policies of war, occupation and settlements.” He accused Israel of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” in East Jerusalem.

“It is a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people via the demolition of their homes,” he said.

Israel took control of eastern Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War after Jordanian attacks. The Jewish state then expanded the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include the eastern parts of the city. Eastern Jerusalem includes a number of important Jewish religious and cultural sites such as the Western Wall, a remnant of the second Jewish Holy Temple. 

Abbas also revealed his ongoing efforts to upgrade the Palestinians’ status at the UN.

“Intensive consultations with the various regional organizations and the state members” were underway, he said.

The Palestinians currently have non-member observer status in the UN. Abbas sought last year to gain full statehood member status, but failed to obtain the necessary votes in the UN Security Council for membership after the U.S. threatened a veto. Instead, Abbas is now seeking an upgrade to non-member state status, which does not carry the same weight as a full statehood member and only requires approval of the UN General Assembly. 

Posted on September 27, 2012 .