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Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has reversed a pledge to Saudi, European and Egyptian officials to hold off on asking the United Nations to recognize as a new state Israel’s occupied Palestinian territories.

Sources told the middle eastern news website DEBKAfile that Abbas has decided to go through with his application to the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 23 for the admission of a Palestinian state to the world body.

His doing so would be “a pointed rebuff to the Obama administration after the White House sent two envoys, senior presidential Middle East adviser Dennis Ross and peace talks adviser David Hale, with an offer to renew U.S. ties with the Palestinian leader if he recalled the application,” observed DEBKAfile:

After the Palestinians announced their reversal, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided Thursday he would lead the Israeli delegation to the U.N. General Assembly and represent Israel in the debate on the Palestinian application for U.N. acceptance of their statehood.

We reported Wednesday, Sept. 14, that Mahmoud Abbas had notified Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and European Union foreign executive Catherine Ashton in Cairo he had backed off his U.N. Security Council bid and even considering watering down his application to the U.N. General Assembly – possibly by dropping the “state within 1967 borders” provision from the text.

During his visit to Cairo, Mahmoud Abbas was sternly warned by Saud al Faisal, Ashton and Egyptian leaders of the grave consequences awaiting the Palestinians if he forced the U.S. to exercise its veto against their statehood at the U.N. Security Council. U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday made it crystal clear that he “objects very strongly” to the Palestinian statehood motion as “counterproductive” and “a distraction from solving problems that can only be addressed through negotiations.”

Tuesday, Sept. 13, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “The path to creating an independent Palestinian state lies through direct talks between Ramallah and Jerusalem – not New York,” she said.

Early Wednesday, the General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar reported that the Palestinians had not yet submitted their request to the General Assembly. It would therefore not come up for debate before October.

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