Source / Credit: Guardian UK
The Palestinian leader is expected to hand over a letter asking for Palestine to join the UN as a state shortly before he addresses the general assembly to plead the case for admission.
The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to speak shortly afterwards. He is likely to denounce the Palestinian move as destabilising and a threat to the peace process – even though that is largely dormant.
A heavier than usual Israeli security presence will be deployed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem at the end of Friday prayers and around the time of Abbas’s speech.
Thousands of Palestinians are expected to gather before open-air screens in West Bank cities to watch their president’s address, and the Israeli military is concerned that hardline settlers may try to provoke confrontations.
“We have heightened the security alert to one level below the highest,” Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.