A state official in Jerusalem said in response that "it appears Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) has decided to forgo direct negotiations. It was expected and it's unfortunate."
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The official added, "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still believes that progress in the peace process can only be made through direct negotiations and not through unilateral decisions."
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, on the other hand, chose to blame Netanyahu. "Instead of establishing a Palestinian state as part of an agreement with Israel, he is leading the world to establish a state against Israel's stance," she said.
"Netanyahu's conduct puts Israel's interest in danger and leads Israel to an unprecedented political weakness which will damage its security. Netanyahu thinks he is making strong statements while actually weakening Israel."
According to Livni, "The Palestinian decision is bad for Israel, and there is only one person responsible for this diplomatic failure – Netanyahu. His inability to understand the reality and his refusal to continue the negotiations held by Kadima, in which we maintained Israel's interests, are leading Israel to one of the most dangerous diplomatic failures in its history."
Livni's Kadima party is calling on the government to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians before September.
The Palestinian Authority began advancing the initiative to gain recognition from the UN General Assembly last year, on the backdrop of the stalemated peace talks with Israel.
It's safe to assume that the request will be approved quite easily, as the General Assembly has an absolute majority of Arab, Islamic and third world countries which have no diplomatic relations with Israel.
In order to become a full UN member, the PA will need the approval of the Security Council as well. The United States is expected to use its power of veto to thwart such a move. US President Barack Obama has already warned the Palestinians not to seek statehood recognition from the UN.
The Israeli defense establishment is preparing for the possibility of riots in the Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries in case the Palestinian statehood bid is approved.
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