Palestinian officials said Sunday they are preparing to ask the United Nations to endorse an independent state without Israel's consent because they are losing faith in the peace talks.
The idea appeared to be largely symbolic. The U.S., Israel's closest ally, would likely veto any initiative at the United Nations, and Israel controls the areas where the Palestinians want to establish their homeland. Nonetheless, the move reflected growing Palestinian frustration with the deadlock in peace efforts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the move, warning Israel would retaliate. "There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," Netanyahu said. "Any unilateral action would only unravel the framework of agreements between us and can only lead to one-sided steps on the part of Israel." He did not elaborate further.
"Now is our defining moment. We went into this peace process in order to achieve a two-state solution," he said. "The endgame is to tell the Israelis that now the international community has recognized the two-state solution on the '67 borders."
There was no immediate reaction from Security Council members. But Erekat said Russia, another permanent member of the Security Council, and unspecified European nations are "on board" with the Palestinian plan.