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Palestine intensifies UN diplomacy

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has set a date for seeking non-member observer status at the UN.

Official news agency Wafa quoted Mr Abbas 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 UN bodies, such as the International Criminal Court, where they could attempt to prosecute Israel.

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

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

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From Belfast Telegraph