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Abbas Plans To Ask U.N. For Palestinian Statehood

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

And I'm Melissa Block. The Palestinians made their intentions clear today in their bid for statehood.

MAHMOUD ABBAS: (Through translator) We are going to the Security Council.

BLOCK: Heard there through an interpreter, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas formally announced his plan to seek statehood recognition at the United Nations next week. Israel called it a unilateral move that will not promote peace. The Palestinians are also setting the stage for a confrontation with the U.S. by directing their appeal to the U.N. Security Council. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro has the story from Jerusalem.

LOURDES GARCIA: Israel is also worried that if the Palestinians gain recognition, they could challenge the occupation in forums like the International Criminal Court. This is a time of great uncertainly of the Middle East. The Arab Spring has changed the face of the region and the U.N. bid could also push this intractable conflict into uncharted waters. Both Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak at the U.N. next week to make their cases to the world body. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR News, Jerusalem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.