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Palestinians call for state recognition without peace deal

Palestinians have called on Europe to recognize its state in the West Bank and Gaza, even without a peace deal with Israel.

With direct peace talks deadlocked since September, the US is now shuttling between the sides to encourage the Jewish state to freeze settlement construction.

The EU sees negotiations as the only way to peace.

Meanwhile, this week 26 former EU leaders have called for sanctions and a boycott of Israel due to the settlement construction.

Uri Davis from the Fatah Revolutionary Council says there are several ways to make Israel change its course.

“There is a leverage which I believe would be immediately effective,” Davis said.

“If the European Union would indicate to the government of Israel that the association agreement with Europe will be frozen until such time as there is a complete settlement freeze on part of the Israeli government and serious consideration of the rights of the Palestinian 1948 refugees to return and to recover their property rights inside Israel. The Israeli government would change its course very quickly.”

“Had the will been there – and it is basically a question of political will – there are plenty of instruments to assist the Israeli government to change its course. So intervention of the US, the European Union and the Russian Federation is absolutely necessary… on the basis of assisting the government of Israel through boycott, divestment and sanctions,” he added.