Israel warns of unilateral steps if Palestine moves to UN

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Jerusalem, Nov. 16 (ANI): Israel has said it will take unilateral steps if the Palestinian Authority (PA) leaves the peace talks midway and moves to the UN to endorse it as an independent state.

"There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and any unilateral attempts outside that framework will unravel the existing agreements between us and could entail unilateral steps by Israel," The Jerusalem post quoted Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as saying at a high level gathering of Israeli and American policy-makers.

His reactions come following PA officials saying that they were prepared to ask the United Nations to endorse an independent state, without Israel's consent, because they are losing faith in the peace talks.

Earlier in the day, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, "God willing, we will soon have an independent state with its capital in Jerusalem."

He spoke on the anniversary of a 1988 unilateral decision by the Palestinian National Council to declare a Palestinian state.

The exchange of warnings of unilateral actions between Israel and the Palestinians comes as the peace process appears deadlocked.

The Palestinians have insisted that they will not speak with Israel until it freezes settlement construction, and Israel has said that the talks must resume without preconditions.

"I want to begin negotiations immediately. These negotiations should be a good faith effort to reach a final peace agreement. My government is prepared to make generous concession in exchange for a genuine peace that protects Israel's security," Netanyahu said. (ANI)

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