The Palestinian leadership officially decided to go ahead with plans to ask the United Nations for recognition as an independent state.
The decision was made Sunday during a meeting in Ramallah, called by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Following the meeting, the P.A. announced that it would bring its statehood request to the United Nations General Assembly in September, as planned.
The announcement also reportedly said that a reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas would be completed and a unity government formed.
The Palestinian leaders also asserted that a declaration of statehood could bring about the resumption of peace negotiations with Israel.
Israel’s military on Monday began a two-day exercise to prepare for violence and other possible scenarios in the weeks leading up to the September General Assembly meeting and in the wake of a vote on Palestinian statehood.