Erakat said the new status would eliminate Israeli justifications for building settlements in the disputed areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

But Israeli officials disagreed.

"No decision by the U.N. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel," Netanyahu said.

Meanwhile in Washington, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed his country's relations with Iran and expressed doubt about sanctions against that country. The United Nations' nuclear watchdog has said Iran is cooperating enough in a review of its nuclear programs.

"I don't believe that these kinds of sanctions will bring them to a moment of truth where they sit around a table and look at each others eyes and decide that the game is over, they can't stand it anymore, they are going to give up their nuclear intention," Barak said.

Barak was visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who noted how the Israeli defense chief announced his retirement from political life. Panetta praised Barak's "brilliant strategic mind" and "warrior heart."