The Palestinian Authority wishes to achieve a number of political gains by having the UN vote today, recognizing "Palestine" as a non-member observer state. First, all lands that are disputed and whose future must be negotiated according to the Oslo Accords, the PA wants declared Palestinian "occupied territory." Second, they claim that UN recognition would change the status of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons to legitimate freedom fighters and prisoners of war.
1- Changing the status of land under Israeli administration since 1967 to "occupied territory"
PA Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
2- Changing the status of Palestinian terrorists who have targeted civilians into legitimate fighters and prisoners of war
Already last year, PA Minister of Prisoners Karake said that UN recognition would indicate that the international community retroactively legitimizes Palestinian violence:
Earlier this year, Palestinian Media Watch released a bulletin explaining the Palestinian Authority strategy. Last year, the PA went to the UN requesting full statehood recognition. In the days following last year's request for statehood, official PA TV celebrated the request by playing clips that show maps of the future Palestinian state. As opposed to Abbas' declaration at the UN recognizing Israel, the maps on PA TV showed a Palestinian state replacing Israel.
The following are longer excerpts of the article on Karake's statements: