JERUSALEM – A high-level U.S. team kicked off a new round of shuttle diplomacy on Wednesday in an effort to contain the diplomatic fallout from the Palestinian statehood push, but the odds of a breakthrough appeared slim as the Palestinians pledged to go ahead with mass rallies to draw world attention to their bid.

U.S. diplomats Dennis Ross and David Hale arrived late Wednesday for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders. They were to travel to the West Bank today to talk with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Washington is trying to persuade the Palestinians to drop their plan to ask the United Nations to recognize an independent Palestinian state, but so far without success.

The Palestinians are turning to the U.N. after peace talks with Israel broke down, hoping a U.N. bid would boost their statehood drive. Both Israel and the United States oppose the campaign, saying there is no substitute for negotiations.

An Israeli official said there was “a very intensive effort” under way to find a formula that would allow negotiations to resume.

“We hope we succeed. It’s not a foregone conclusion,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

There was no immediate Palestinian comment. Officials have said they remain determined to go to the U.N. unless Israel accepts their demand for a freeze on West Bank settlement construction and commits to a Palestinian state based on the cease-fire lines that mark the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza — areas captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

With the odds of a breakthrough appearing slim, the Palestinians plan to submit a resolution to the United Nations during the annual General Assembly, which begins in New York on Tuesday.

Although the vote would not change the situation on the ground, the Palestinians believe U.N. recognition of a state along the 1967 lines would give them leverage in future negotiations.