Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has handed the Palestinian application for statehood to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, according to a United Nations statement.
Abbas later spoke Friday afternoon at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Below are updates on what Abbas said:
[Updated at 12:57 p.m. ET]Â Abbas said the Palestinians' application for full U.N. membership asks for Israel to return to its 1967 boundaries. He also appealed to "states that have not recognized the state of Palestine to do so."
The United States has pledged to veto the application should a vote occur in the body's Security Council. The United States would not be able to veto any Palestinian effort to go before the General Assembly, rather than the Security Council, to gain a lesser-than-full-member status: that of "permanent observer state."
Abbas also called for Israeli-held "prisoners of conscience" to be released.
[Updated at 12:48 p.m. ET] Abbas said his submission of a bid for statehood at the U.N. reflects "a moment of truth."
"Our people are waiting to hear the answer of the world," he told the U.N. General Assembly, adding that Israeli policies have been able to operate "above the law."
[Updated at 12:44 p.m. ET] Abbas said: "We extend our hand to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peacemaking."
"Let us build bridges of dialogue instead of checkpoints and walls of separation," he told the U.N. General Assembly.
[Updated at 12:39 p.m. ET] Abbas said the Palestinians were ready to return to the negotiating table with Israel, provided Israel cease expansion efforts, among other concerns.
Israel has called for a return to negotiations with no preconditions.
Abbas blamed Israel for the decades-old conflict, saying the country's policies have been "aimed to entrench occupation," rather than forge a lasting peace.
"We decided to adopt the path of relative justice," he told the United Nations General Assembly, saying East Jerusalem is Palestinians' rightful capital.
Quoting historic references, Abbas said each time negotiations have gotten underway, talks have been "shattered" by Israeli expansionism.
[Updated at 12:36 p.m. ET] Abbas called Israel an occupying power "that threatens our holy places."
He told members of the U.N. General Assembly that Israel is in a "race against time to redraw the borders," and it that harms the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian families.
Abbas added: "We now face the imposition of new conditions that have not previously been raised."
The United States has vowed to block a Palestinian U.N. membership application should it reach the U.N. Security Council.Â The Obama administration has expressed concern that Palestinian action at the United Nations could intensify conditions on the ground and delay already stalled negotiations with Israel.
A successful vote would not lead to an established Palestinian state with defined borders, but it would afford the Palestinian government an upgraded international status, allowing them to pursue legal actions against Israel.
The Palestinians currently hold the status of a permanent observer entity. As an observer, the delegation can speak in the General Assembly but not vote.
If going to the Security Council doesn't work, the Palestinians could appeal to the General Assembly, where only a majority vote would be needed, to gain a lesser status. That would be of a permanent observer state, similar to the position that the Vatican holds. A vote in its favor would be all but assured.