In a dramatic speech at the U.N., Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he had asked the international body to admit the state of Palestine as a full member. Abbas said that he decided to request for UN membership of his state after Israel smashed all efforts to reach a peace through talks.
"All of these sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly smashed against the rocks of the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September," he said.
He warned that his government could collapse if Israel continues building settlements on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state. He stressed that settlements are the key obstacle to peacemaking.
The Palestinian leader was greeted by sustained ovation and appreciative whistles as he approached the dais to deliver his speech.
Amid rising tensions as the statehood bid approached, a Palestinian man has been shot dead in a clash between Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.