The Arab League’s monitoring committee decided last week to consider alternatives to negotiations On Friday, the Egyptian foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said that Arab nations may seek recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations if Israel continues building settlements in the West Bank.

“If this situation continuous, the Arab League will study some other options such as going to the United Nations and ask for the recognition of the Palestinian state,” Gheit claimed.

The Arab League request to the U.N. could come next month.

At its conference in Libya last week, the Arab League’s monitoring committee gave Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, support for his decision to suspend the direct talks with Israel as long as settlement construction continues, and resolved to reconvene in a month to examine alternatives to negotiations.

At the conference hope was expressed that the United States would pressure Israel to extend the construction freeze.