Tensions over P.A. Statehood Reach Boiling Point

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The showdown over the Palestinians' U.N. bid for statehood bid has reached the 11th hour. 

Despite strong pressure from the U.S., Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he'll ask for full U.N. membership in his Friday speech to the U.N. Security Council.

The news has stoked tensions in New York and the Middle East.

Israel is not only concerned about a possible upgrade in status for the Palestinians at the U.N. There are also concerns that in the process, Abbas may try to redefine the borders. 

Such a move could raise friction levels at checkpoints between Israel and Palestinian territories.
 
Israeli forces are already at higher alert levels, as Palestinians demonstrated following President Obama's speech before the U.N. Wednesday.

Palestinian Authority officials in New York have warned that violence is inevitable if they are denied a state. They're reportedly angry with the U.S. for insisting on direct negotiations with Israel. 

"The U.N. is the only alternative to violence," senior P.A. negotiator Nabil Shaath said during a press conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

"It will be very costly to us and the Israelis," he added. "Our new heroes are Gandhi, Mandela, and Martin Luther King."
 
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's grateful for the U.S. stance.
 
"I think the Palestinians want to achieve a state through the international community, but they are not prepared yet to give peace to Israel in return," Netanyahu remarked at joint press conference with Obama Wednesday.

"My hope is that there will be other leaders in the world, responsible leaders, who will heed your call, Mr. President, and oppose this effort to shortcut peace negotiations," the Israeli prime minister said.

CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell talked about the Palestinian Authority bid for statehood and how matters are unfolding behind the scenes, on CBN News Channel Morning News, Sept. 22. Click below for his comments.

As if the Palestinian drama wasn't enough, the General Assembly is set to hear from Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

The U.N. may be focused on Palestinian statehood, but Iran's nuclear quest could soon force the world body to pay closer attention.

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Chris Mitchell and John Waage

Chris Mitchell and John Waage

CBN News Mideast Bureau

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