New U.N. statehood bid for Palestinians

The Palestinian Authority is considering a bid next month to be a U.N. “non-member observer state.” P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to take the step, and has the backing of the Arab League, but has not yet decided when he will go ahead, according to the Associated Press.

According to the report, even though some members of his inner circle are pushing him to move more quickly, Abbas is leaning toward waiting until after the U.S. presidential elections in November to avoid further straining his relationship with the Obama administration.

Last year’s P.A. bid at the U.N. General Assembly’s fall session for full state membership failed. The Arab League last month gave Abbas its backing for a new General Assembly bid, but did not specifically approve its timing. Yigal Palmer, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said his country is aware of the Palestinian intentions but he would not comment on possible Israeli responses. — jta