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Press split on Palestinian statehood move

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
Erekat said years of failed negotiations lead to the move

Arab and Israeli press commentators are divided over a possible move by Palestinian leaders to ask the UN to recognise an independent Palestinian state. They have also been considering the warning issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israeli countermeasures.

Some in the Arab world feel that the Palestinians have been left with little alternative, since Middle East peace talks have "gone astray" and "reached gridlock".

In Israel, the Jerusalem Post said any unilateral Palestinian move would only lead to more bloodshed, while another commentator felt that both sides were in fact only bluffing.

EDITORIAL IN ISRAEL'S JERUSALEM POST

So rather than bargain in good faith to build a viable accord, Saeb Erekat and Mahmoud Abbas are betting on an outside imposed solution. Their way will not bring reconciliation, mutual security and peace, but doom yet another generation of Israelis and Palestinians to more bloodshed.

EDITORIAL IN JORDAN'S AL-DUSTOUR

The policies of occupation, especially continuing settlement-building, have caused the failure of negotiations and have led the peace process to a gridlock… The idea of declaring the establishment of an independent Palestinian state has emerged strongly during this stage as a sole option. This is a legitimate right.

BEN KASPIT IN ISRAEL'S MA'ARIV

Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in Jerusalem yesterday but his words were aimed at Ramallah. The threat was explicit. Your unilateral steps will lead to unilateral steps on our part… In the end both sides threaten but they do not really mean it

EDITORIAL IN SAUDI AL-WATAN

The Palestinian leaders, especially those who have been supporting the Oslo accords, came to a consensus that 18 years have gone astray and that Israel has been stalling in order to achieve its goal, which entails setting up a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its eternal capital.

HASAN AL-BATAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

The strong Israel is afraid of weak Palestine. In reality, it is afraid of its own nightmares as expressed by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman... He sees that the establishment of a Palestinian state will push Israel back to the 1967 borders, only for the Palestinians to ask for autonomous rule in the Galilee and the Negev after that.

ALUF BENN IN HA'ARETZ

Netanyahu has returned to power after a decade and is again fighting a Palestinian threat to declare statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip… If Netanyahu acts correctly, he will again be able to take pride in his ability to foil Palestinian declarations of statehood, just as he did during his first term as prime minister.

BBC Monitoringselects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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