Palestinian President Abbas Expects Wide Support for UN Bid
By Mariam Fam and Fadwa Hodali - Nov 25, 2012 8:23 AM ET
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said a bid for United Nations observer status is the first step toward achieving his people’s rights and has wide support among General Assembly members.
“We are going to the United Nations with confidence, supported by all peace lovers,” Abbas said in the West Bank city of Ramallah today. “Be assured, there are many countries” supporting the bid, he said.
Abbas, who controls only the West Bank, is pressing ahead with the initiative after Egypt brokered a cease-fire to end eight days of fighting between Israel and Hamas, the rival Islamist group running the Gaza Strip. That conflict left six Israelis and more than 160 Palestinians dead.
Hamas, which in 2007 fought Abbas’s Fatah for control of Gaza a year after winning parliamentary elections, gave the Palestinian Authority its backing for the UN bid on Nov. 22. Abbas said he hoped a successful vote would be followed by a reconciliation between the factions. The U.S., European Union and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist organization.