Argentina joins Brazil in recognising a Palestinian state in occupied zone

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The Independent Online

Israel expressed disappointment with Argentina's recognition of a Palestinian state in territories Israel occupied in 1967.

Israel said the move undercut its own efforts to create such a state through negotiations, which the US is leading. Argentina said that the recognition – announced on Monday, a few days after Brazil took a similar step – reflected its deep frustration with gridlocked peace efforts.

But the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said unilateral recognition was "counterproductive" to peacemaking. He said: "This disappointing and damaging decision is contrary to the existing Israeli-Palestinian agreements," which call for a Palestinian state as part of a peace treaty.

Peacemaking efforts ground to a halt in late September, just three weeks after they began, when Israel resisted US and Palestinian efforts to extend a moratorium on new housing in West Bank settlements.

Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table unless Israel halts all construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967.

The Palestinians want both territories and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip for a future state. They say more than 100 countries have recognised a Palestinian state over the past two decades.

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