P.A. Determined to Take Statehood Bid to UN

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian officials made it clear over the weekend they're planning to bypass Israel in their attempt to create an independent state.

P.A. spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi said they planned to take their statehood bid to the U.N. Security Council despite an almost certain veto from the United States.

"We are going to the U.N. with all the options open," Ashrawi said. "We're going to the Security Council. We're going to the General Assembly. We are not limiting ourselves to one thing," she said.

Ashrawi also said the Palestinians believe there's a chance they can get the U.S. to abstain from the vote rather than veto it.

Israel opposes the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, saying the only way to resolve the decades-old conflict is through negotiations.

"It's more like a provocation," Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz said. "These kinds of provocations won't help. I don't think that it will get them any closer to their desire," he said.

"On the contrary, the meaning of such a step is that they prefer to go for provocations rather than sitting [down] to the negotiating table," Hershkowitz said.

In the meantime, Israel is preparing for massive protests and possible outbreaks of violence in the Palestinian territories and at checkpoints surrounding the declaration in September.

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Julie Stahl

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