Israel on Saturday said it was disappointed by Brazil's decision to recognise a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
Brazil recognized on Friday the state of Palestine based on borders before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.
The foreign ministry said the recognition was in response to a request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to President Lula da Silva earlier this year.
"The government of Israel expresses sadness and disappointment over the decision by the Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a month before he steps down," a statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said.
The move by Brazil comes as peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are on the brink of collapse following the end of a temporary ban on Jewish settlement building in the oocupied West Bank.
The decision is in line with Brazil’s historic support for United Nations resolutions demanding the end of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and doesn’t detract from the country’s support for peace negotiations between the two sides, the ministry said in a statement.
”Considering that the demand presented by his Excellency (Abbas) is just and consistent with the principles upheld by Brazil with regard to the Palestinian issue, Brazil, through this letter, recognizes a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,“ it said.
The letter refers to the ”legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people for a secure, united, democratic and economically viable state coexisting peacefully with Israel.“
The international community backs Palestinian demands for a state in most of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and east Jerusalem, all territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
The letter says that over one hundred countries have recognized the Palestinian State, among them all of the Arab countries and most of the African, Asian and Eastern European ones, such as Russia, China, South Africa and India, among others.
However, the United States and most Western governments have yet to recognize a Palestinian state.
"No new freeze"
Abbas says he will not return to negotiations while Israel continues to build on occupied land the Palestinians want for a future state.
Over the last few weeks, Abbas has repeatedly said he would explore other options if peace talks with the Israelis collapse -- one of which would see him seeking United Nations' recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
On Thursday, a Palestinian official said Washington had officially informed them that attempts to secure a new Israeli settlement freeze had failed.
Abbas visited Brazil in 2005 and 2009, and Lula made the first ever trip by a Brazilian head of state to Palestine and Israel in March of this year.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 07 Aralık 2010, 09:33