Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 14, 2012

Israel: Palestinian UN bid could threaten accords

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli diplomats have put foreign leaders on notice that their country will consider its historic peace accords with the Palestinians null and void if they ask the United Nations for a state, according to a document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

The list of Foreign Ministry talking points also instructs diplomats to tell world leaders that Israel will retaliate against the move, without specifying details.

The Palestinians, frustrated with a four-year impasse in peace efforts, say they will ask the U.N. General Assembly on Nov. 29 to give them upgraded observer status. A draft resolution floated by the Palestinians seeks international recognition of their state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israel and the U.S. strongly oppose the effort, saying all matters must be resolved through negotiations. On Wednesday, a U.S. envoy was set to meet the Palestinian president in Switzerland in a last-ditch bid to halt the bid.

The document says U.N. General Assembly approval of the Palestinian request would violate 1990s agreements between the two sides and "give Israel the right to reconsider and nullify" them in whole or in part. "Adoption of the resolution by the General Assembly will have grave consequences, and set in motion unilateral Israeli responses," the ministry communique said, cautioning that it would also complicate future diplomatic progress.

Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon, speaking in a similar vein, told Army Radio on Wednesday that his country would "have to take steps to make it clear that there will be a heavy price" if the statehood petition goes ahead. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also warned previously that a statehood appeal would push peace further away and lead to instability.

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