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Israel launches a campaign against Palestinian State recognition

Israel asks its diplomats to persuade world leaders against recognition of unilateral Palestinian statehood

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Monday 20 Dec 2010

Israel launched an international campaign to convince world leaders that the Palestinian Authority's attempt to seek unilateral state recognition is against international law, the Israeli media reported.

In a government memo, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that "the Palestinian efforts to get international condemnation over settlement issue would negatively affect the chances to continue the direct talks between the two sides."

The memo, which was published by the Hebrew version of Haaretz daily, also said that the Palestinian Authority is aware that a settlement freeze is one of many issues which should be discussed in the final status negotiations, as agreed on by both sides in the Oslo accord.

The memo also argued that all past signed agreements between the Palestinians and Israel do not include settlement freeze as pre-condition for direct talks, and that the final status of the West bank and Gaza must be determined through direct negotiation. According to the memo, any move by the Palestinian leaders to announce independence within these lands would be against international law.

Israel also requested Sunday that its ambassadors in all countries explain to world leaders the consequences of unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state, arguing that it would lead to the collapse of the peace process.

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© 2010 Ahram Online.