Concerns are growing in Israel's government over the possibility of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence within the 1967 borders, a move which could potentially be recognized by the United Nations Security Council.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently asked the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama to veto any such proposal, after reports reached Jerusalem of support for such a declaration from major European Union countries, and apparently also certain U.S. officials.
The reports indicated that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration over U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Such recognition would likely transform any Israeli presence across the Green Line, even in Jerusalem, into an illegal incursion to which the Palestinians would be entitled to engage in measures of self-defense.
In late August Fayyad presented the international community with a detailed plan for building up Palestinian Authority institutions and set a timetable of up to two years for its implementation. Senior Israeli officials said Fayyad's plan initially met with positive reaction in Jerusalem for its emphasis on institution-building and making security services more efficient.
But some Israeli officials told Haaretz that alongside the clauses reported in the media - which are similar to elements of Netanyahu's call for "economic peace" between Israel and the Palestinians - Fayyad's plan also contains a classified, unreleased portion stipulating a unilateral declaration of independence.
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