Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has warned the Palestinians against going ahead with their plan to seek statehood at the United Nations.
“Any unilateral steps will damage the peace process and consequences of these unilateral steps are unpredictable," he said in the Croatian capital, Zagreb on Monday during a tour of Europe, Reuters reported.
The bid has been planned for September. It has been in part encouraged by recognition by over 100 countries, including many Latin American countries, of the Palestinians’ 1988 declaration of independent statehood.
Lieberman is visiting Croatia, Albania and Austria in an attempt to persuade the countries’ officials to avoid supporting the initiative.
The recognition is expected to take place based on the borders of 1967, when Tel Aviv occupied the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East al-Quds (Jerusalem). Tel Aviv withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but has been keeping the region under frequent bloody attacks.
Lieberman urged the Palestinians to return to the negotiation table instead of going after the pursuit.
"It is crucial to re-start direct talks," he said.
Israel’s direct talks with the Palestinian Authority hit a stalemate late last year after Tel Aviv refused to extend a partial freeze on its construction of illegal Jewish settlements on the occupied lands.