Palestinians officially launch statehood campaign

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- The Palestinians have officially launched their campaign aimed at joining the United Nations as a full member state.

Palestinian officials and activists on Thursday announced the campaign in a letter delivered to the office of U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

It urges the U.N. chief to "exert all possible efforts toward the achievement of the Palestinian people's just demands."

The letter says the campaign will include a series of peaceful events leading up to the Sept. 21 opening of the U.N. General Assembly. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the assembly two days later.

The Palestinians say they are turning to the U.N. because years of peace negotiations have failed.

Israel says peace can only be achieved through negotiations.