The Palestinians are sure to win recognition as a state by the United Nations on Thursday, the Associated Press reported, despite opposition from Israel and the United States.
Palestinians are seeking U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the territories Israel captured in 1967. The move would raise Palestinian status from a U.N. observer to a nonmember observer state, and only requires a majority to pass. France, Spain, Switzerland and other countries have indicated support.
Palestinians say they need U.N. recognition to be able to resume peace negotiations with Israel, but Israel and the U.S. worry that the move would actually slow the peace process.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Wednesday that a U.N. vote for Palestinian statehood would not be conducive to direct peace negotiations, according to the AP.
"We need an environment conducive to that," Clinton told reporters in Washington. "And we've urged both parties to refrain from actions that might in any way make a return to meaningful negotiations that focus on getting to a resolution more difficult."
In a final attempt to block the process, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns promised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday that President Obama would re-engage as a mediator next year if Abbas abandoned the Palestinian statehood effort. But Abbas refused, according to the AP.