Palestinians mull new strategy

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Palestinian leaders, unable to reach a two-state deal in negotiations with Israel, may try reaching their goal through international venues, observers say.

With talks with Israel bogged down once again, Palestinians are discussing the idea of going to the United Nations, the International Court of Justice and other forums to achieve recognition of Palestinian statehood, The New York Times reported Wednesday.


"We cannot go on this way," former peace negotiator Hanan Ashrawi of the Palestine Liberation Organization told the Times. "The two-state solution is disappearing. If we cannot stop the settlements through the peace process, we have to go to the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and every international legal body."

The PLO leaders were going over possible options this week, she said.

Israeli officials oppose having a solution imposed by outside entities, the Times said. They contend Palestinians are trying to get recognition of statehood without having to negotiate on borders and other issues.

Israel wants the United States to publicly reject the approach, which it has so far refused to do.

"A lot of members of the international community believe that since the Palestinians are the weaker party, if they get more support it will help them in the direct talks with us," a senior Israeli official, speaking on standard diplomatic ground rules of anonymity, told the Times. "But it works in the opposite direction. This would kill a negotiated settlement."


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