Palestinian Leader Addresses U.N. General Assembly; Israeli Leader to Follow
Palestinians likely to submit new resolution for U.N. recognition after U.S. presidential election
Michael Martinez CNN
September 27, 2012
His speech will be followed by an address by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to focus more on Iran than the Palestinians.
Abbas criticized Israel and said Palestinians were facing "a campaign of ethnic cleansing" in which they are being denied full access to houses of worship, schools, hospitals, and housing.
"The occupying power is also continuing its construction and expansion of settlements in different areas throughout the West Bank," he told the assembly.
Israel rejects a Palestinian state and refuses to end its occupation, Abbas said.
"I speak on behalf of an angry people," he said. "Israel continues to enjoy impunity."
Last year, the Palestinian Authority failed in its bid to win U.N. recognition as an independent state.
In their latest initiative to seek nonmember observer status, the Palestinians are likely to submit the new resolution after the U.S. presidential election on November 6 in an effort to prevent the issue from becoming political fodder. They have expressed concern about pessimistic comments by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney about the chances for peace in the region.
For Israel, the issue of how to respond to Iran's controversial nuclear program has put a strain on relations between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama. Tehran insists its atomic program is for peaceful purposes, but Western leaders say they believe it is aimed at building a weapon.
Netanyahu has been pushing the United States to establish a clear "red line" that Iran cannot cross if it wants to avoid war.
Israel seeks international urgency, as negotiations aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions have failed to produce an agreement and the effectiveness of sanctions on Tehran remains unclear.
CNN's Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.