In a sign of Britain's impatience with Israel British Premier David Cameron told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday that Britain may endorse a unilateral declaration of state by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if Israel declines to take part in substantive peace negotiations with the Palestinians to create a two state solution.
Via the Guardian:
It is a sign of Britain's impatience with Israel that Britain mentioned the D word tonight as David Cameron hosted Netanyahu in Downing Street. In this case it is the prospect of a unilateral declaration of independence by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, at the UN general assembly in September.
Britain is making clear that it may endorse a declaration by Abbas if Israel declines to take part in substantive peace negotiations with the Palestinians to create a two state solution.
Britain understands that today marks a sensitive moment for Netanyahu as Hamas, which mourned the death of Osama bin Laden, signed a reconciliation agreement with Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Fatah faction. Cameron was planning to reassure Netanyahu by saying Britain accepts that much work will need to be done on the Hamas-Fatah deal. Britain has noted that it does not require Hamas to recognize Israel – one of the essential requirements of the "quartet" of the UN, EU, Russia and the US.
But the prime minister believes that Israel must join substantive talks with the Palestinians to agree on a two state solution....Cameron believes that raising the prospect of support for a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians provides Britain with a "lever" over Israel. This is what a diplomatic source said tonight:
"Britain's clear and absolute preference is for a negotiation to take place between Israel and the Palestinians which leads to a two state solution which everyone endorses.
But at this point Britain is not ruling anything out. The more Israel engages seriously in a meaningful peace process the less likely it is that this question of unilateral declaration would arise".