US Urges Palestinians to Avoid ‘Negative Scenario’ at UN

Posted September 6th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The Obama administration says it will press Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks and avoid a “negative scenario” at the United Nations this month where the possibility of membership for a Palestinian state will be raised.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that U.S. envoys have returned to the region in a bid to get the two sides together.

She says the envoys met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials on Tuesday and would meet Wednesday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to discourage him from pursuing statehood at this month's U.N. General Assembly.

U.S.-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled a year ago after an Israeli moratorium on settlement building in the occupied West Bank expired. Palestinians oppose Israeli construction on captured land they want as part of a future state.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press quoted a top aide to Mr. Abbas as saying Palestinians would take their statehood bid to the U.N. “regardless of objections or pressure.”

In a separate development, medical workers say Israeli forces killed a Palestinian militant late Tuesday in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military said earlier its warplanes had carried out an airstrike in Gaza in response to rockets fired from the Hamas-controlled territory.