RAMALLAH, West Bank A bid for U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine is a last-ditch attempt to rescue troubled Mideast peace efforts, a Palestinian spokesman said Wednesday, rejecting Israel’s charge that it is an attempt to bypass negotiations.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official, urged the U.S. to drop its opposition to the bid, dismissing Washington’s stance as “pathetic” and harmful to American interests in the region.
The Palestinians have come under intense pressure from the U.S., Britain and others to modify the bid but “have not succumbed,” she said.
On Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask the U.N. General Assembly to recognize Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but still controls most access.
The Palestinians expect some two-thirds of the General Assembly’s 193 members will accept Palestine as a nonmember observer state. The U.S., Israel, Canada and a few others are opposed.