Palestinians: UN Bid is Last-Ditch Peace Effort

Palestinians wave flags during a rally in support of President Mahmoud Abbas' efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 25, 2012. Abbas will visit New York this week as the Palestinians seek an upgrade of its observer status at the United Nations from that of an "entity" to a "non-member state." (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

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A Palestinian spokeswoman says a bid to seek U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine in Israeli-occupied lands is a last-ditch attempt to rescue the troubled Mideast peace efforts.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, urged the U.S. on Wednesday to drop its opposition to the bid, calling Washington’s stance “pathetic” and harmful to American interests in the Arab world.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is to ask the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday to recognize Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967. Overwhelming approval is likely, while the U.S., Israel and a few others are opposed.

Ashrawi says the Palestinians withstood intense U.S. pressure to drop the bid.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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