NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received cheers and even a standing ovation by some world leaders before he stated his case at the united nations for full statehood.
"Our step is not to undermine Israel, we want to legitimize the people of Palestine," Abbas said.
Moments earlier, Abbas formally handed his application for full statehood to U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, despite pressure from the United States to resume peace talks with Israel first.
On Wednesday President Obama used his United Nations speech to underscore key issues between the Palestinians and Israel must be resolved.
"Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians - not us - who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security," he said.
Following his speech the president also met with Abbas in private in an attempt to get him to back down.
It is the latest hurdle for the Palestinians and Israel after nearly two decades of peace talks that have ended in a stalemate, or with violence.
The conflict is heating up once again.
Today a Palestinian man was reportedly killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
Earlier this week, Palestinians took to the streets, showing support for Abbas and calling for an independent Palestine.
The U.S. is trying to avoid isolating Israel further after the arab uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
The president assured Israel's prime minister he has the backing of the United States.
"America's commitment to Israel will never waver," Mr. Obama said.
In an attempt to slow down the process, the U.S. and western allies will likely request the application be reviewed by a committee.