Israel police explosives experts collect a Qassam rocket at a residential area near the Israel-Gaza border in southern Israel, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. A number of Palestinian rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel Saturday after a border clash between Israeli soldiers and militants. (AP Photo /Tsafrir Abayov)
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian president says he will ask the U.N. General Assembly this month to recognize an independent Palestine, despite pressure to abandon the bid.
President Mahmoud Abbas didn't specify from where the pressure has come. But the U.S. and Israel have opposed upgrading the Palestinians' status at the world body to non-member observer state.
Both Israel and the U.S. say a Palestinian state can be established only through negotiations. Talks broke down four years ago and the Palestinians refuse to renew them until Israel halts all settlement construction, something it refuses to do.
Abbas said in a speech Sunday, "Some powers are trying to tell us that the two-state solution doesn't come from the U.N. but through negotiations. ... Negotiations are crucial. But to get U.N. recognition is also key."