Palestinians to go to U.N. Sept. 20

Aug. 13, 2011 at 11:56 PM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Saturday for Palestine's decision to seek U.N. approval for statehood status.

Palestinian officials said they would apply for the United Nations' recognition of Palestine as an independent state on Sept. 20, due to stalled peace talks with Israel, Ynetnews reported.

"Instead of establishing a Palestinian state as part of an agreement with Israel, he [Netanyahu] is leading the world to establish a state against Israel's stance," Livni, a member of the Kadima party, said.

"Netanyahu's conduct puts Israel's interest in danger and leads Israel to an unprecedented political weakness which will damage its security."

A state official said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "has decided to forgo direct negotiations. It was expected and it's unfortunate."

"Netanyahu still believes that progress in the peace process can only be made through direct negotiations and not through unilateral decisions," the official said.

At the United Nations, Palestine is likely to find General Assembly approval to be recognized as an independent state, but to become a full member of the international body, Palestine needs an endorsement from the Security Council, which would require approval by the United States.

President Barack Obama has already said he is opposed to the United Nations granting Palestine full member status.

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