JERUSALEM - Palestinian plans to establish a state by summer in agreement with Israel remain on track, and the Palestinians do not intend to seek alternatives such as unilateral recognition from the international community, a top Palestinian official said in an interview aired Saturday.
Given the stalemate in peace talks with Israel, some other Palestinian officials have been trying to rally international recognition for an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem even without a deal with Israel.
However, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a rare interview that this is not his goal.
"What we are looking for now is a state of Palestine. We are not looking for yet another declaration of statehood. We are not looking for a unilateral declaration of statehood," he said in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV. "I really do not have a Plan B. . . . I am not going to offer alternatives."
The interview was the first that Fayyad - who heads the moderate West Bank government under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas - has granted to an Israeli TV station since becoming prime minister in 2007.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are at an impasse over Israel's refusal to meet Palestinian demands for a freeze on Jewish settlements in areas Palestinians want for a future state.
Fayyad used his appearance before the Israeli public to reaffirm his rejection of violence and call on Israelis not to give up hope for peace.
"We should not be discouraged because we have failed so many times before," he said.
Nir Hefetz, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, welcomed the comments.
Fayyad, a former World Bank economist, is credited with an economic upturn in the West Bank and improving law and order after a decade of violence. He has earned praise for taking steps to build a Palestinian state from the ground up - paving roads, reforming the judiciary, and planning new cities - and by renouncing violence against Israel.
He is well respected by both American and Israeli officials, though he has angered some in Israel for his aggressive campaign to boycott West Bank settlements. In one famous incident, he tossed products made in Jewish settlements into a bonfire.