WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has again rejected Palestinian plans to seek recognition for an independent state unilaterally from the United Nations without reaching a peace accord with Israel. "We don't believe it's a good idea, we don't believe it's helpful," said US State Department spokesman Mark Toner. US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in Sept 2010, but collapsed shortly afterwards when Israel refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building in the occupied territories. Israel has insisted that all issues, including the settlements, should be hammered out in direct talks. Abbas has said that he will seek recognition at the United Nations for an independent state in September. Meanwhile, a group of 17 winners of the prestigious Israel Prize are calling for the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, according to a copy of a petition obtained by AFP on Wednesday. The laureates plan to sign the petition, also inked by several dozen other Israeli artists and intellectuals, on Thursday, in a symbolic ceremony in front of the building where the state of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Among the petition's prominent signatories are Menachem Yaari, the former president of Israel Academy of Sciences and Shulamit Aloni, the founder of the leftist Meretz party. All three are winners of the Israel Prize, which is considered the Jewish state's highest honour and is awarded each year in several fields, including for contribution to the nation. The petition comes as Palestinian officials say they are increasingly determined to seek United Nations recognition for a state within the borders that existed before the start of the 1967 Six Day War, to include the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.