Palestinians set date for UN bid

Nonmember observer status is the lowest level of full membership with the U.N. President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine has requested an upgrade to this status, which could add weight to Palestinian claims for a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

RAMALLAH, West Bank  — The official news agency of the Palestinian Authority says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has set a date for seeking nonmember observer status at the U.N.

Wafa quoted Abbas on Monday as saying the Palestinians will request to upgrade their status on November 29.

The status could add weight to Palestinian claims for a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war from Jordan. Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005.

Palestinians hope to use the status to join additional U.N. bodies, such as the International Criminal Court, where they could attempt to prosecute Israel.

Israel and the U.S. oppose to the move, saying Palestinians should negotiate their statehood via peace talks and not conduct unilateral moves.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama phoned Abbas asking him to abandon the bid.