Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said he expects “very difficult times” for his people as he attempts to gain recognition for Palestine at the UN, the BBC reported. Abbas was speaking on his way to New York, where he is to put the proposal to the UN Security Council on Friday. Israel’s deputy foreign minister said the move could increase tensions. A BBC-GlobeScan poll suggests that in 19 countries across the world, more people back UN recognition of Palestine as an independent state than oppose it. The Palestinians are seeking international recognition of their state based on 1967 borders – the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Israel and the US say a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiation, but the Palestinian leadership says this approach has got them nowhere.