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Palestinians will go to the UN no matter what

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Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has just come out and stated that even if negotiations with Israel were to recommence, the Palestinians will go to the UN and ask for recognition of statehood. Haaretz reports:

The Palestinians will seek membership as an independent state at the UN in September even if peace negotiations with Israel are underway, the Palestinian UN envoy said on Thursday.

Riyad Mansour said the Palestinians are working on three separate tracks - restarting negotiations, completing the institutions for an independent state and gaining additional recognition for a Palestinian state.

"If we succeed in opening the door for negotiations, we're not going to stop from attaining what belongs to us as Palestinians in this General Assembly starting on Sept. 20," Mansour told reporters after the Security Council's monthly meeting on the Mideast. "Whether we succeed in the negotiations or we don't, the other two tracks are continuing."

This announcement is a huge blow to peace efforts, particularly to US President Barack Obama and to the European Union, who have been attempting to jump-start talks whilst strongly condemning the Palestinians' unilateral efforts. It is also a reversal of the previous Palestinian position, which was that the UN bid was a last resort and would be averted were the parties to return to negotiations.

Any unilateral moves, such as this UN bid, will only serve to further intensify the conflict. Without a return to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, no attempt at a solution could ever be sustainable. Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority seems to be moving closer and closer to a renewal of the bloodshed that is all too familiar in recent Israeli/Palestinian history.

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