RAMALLAH, West Bank -- A Palestinian official Friday criticized President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for opposing Palestinians' bid for statehood recognition in the United Nations, and failing to give the issue more attention in their speeches this week before the international body.
"By ignoring us, the Palestinian question is not going to go away," said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday at the U.N. General Assembly that consultations have begun with various nations on drafting a resolution that will be submitted before the end of the assembly's current session, calling for upgrading the status of the Palestinian territories from observer to non-member state.
The upgrade would allow the Palestinian Authority to join all U.N. organizations, but not to vote.
Ashrawi said no specific date has been set for a vote on the proposed resolution, but several nations have strongly suggested submitting it on Nov. 29, the U.N.-adopted International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. That is also is the anniversary of a 1947 U.N. resolution partitioning the region into Arab and Jewish states.
She said the U.S. was already working behind the scenes to discourage other nations from supporting the proposal, as it did a year ago when Palestinians attempted to gain full U.N. membership.
-- Maher Abukhater