Israel leader: Will respond to Palestinian UN move

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister says Palestinian steps to seek further UN recognition as a state will be answered in kind by Israel.

Speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu says the Palestinians will only achieve a state through direct negotiations and "not by empty statements and unilateral actions." Last week, the Palestinians renewed their push for membership in United Nations agencies after Israel failed to carry out a planned release of prisoners in full, as promised by the end of March, sending U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's troubled Mideast peace efforts into a tailspin.

Kerry is trying to keep the talks going as they near the end of their predetermined nine-month window. Netanyahu said he is ready to continue talks but "not at any price."

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