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Obama: Israel would hurt itself by cutting off PA

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama said Israel would harm itself if it cut off security ties with the Palestinian Authority in the event of a United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood.

"That would only hurt Israel, not help Israel," Obama was quoted as telling a group of Hispanic journalists on Monday when asked about Israeli threats to suspend security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority.

Obama reiterated his administration’s oft-stated view that the Palestinian push for statehood recognition was a non-starter.

"This issue is only going to be resolved by Israelis and Palestinians agreeing on something," he was quoted as saying by the French news agency AFP.

The Obama administration has said that the PA effort to secure statehood recognition this month in the United Nations would set back the prospect for renewed peace talks and has pledged to veto the bid should it come to the Security Council. 

The Palestinians may seek an enhanced status short of statehood through the General Assembly, where the United States does not have a veto.

"We are only one vote in the General Assembly," AFP quoted Obama as saying. "Clearly there are a lot of countries ready to go with the Palestinians, depending on the resolution."

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