Hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, garnering overwhelming support for his bid to gain nonmember observer state status, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shot back, saying Abbas’s remarks were “not the words of a man who seeks peace.”
“The world watched a poisonous, hate-driven speech, full of misleading propaganda against the Israel Defense Forces and the citizens of Israel,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
“This was a meaningless decision that won't change anything. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has clarified that no Palestinian state will be established without a deal that ensures the security of the citizens of Israel. He will not allow an Iranian terror base to exist in Judea and Samaria, in addition to the ones that already exist in Gaza and in Lebanon.
“The path to peace between Jerusalem and Ramallah passes through direct negotiations, without preconditions, not through one-sided U.N. resolutions. By going to the U.N., the Palestinians violated their agreements with Israel, and Israel will act accordingly,” the statement concluded.
In his speech at the UN, Abbas accused Israel of an “unprecedented intensification of military assaults, the blockade, settlement activities and ethnic cleansing, particularly in occupied east Jerusalem, and mass arrests, attacks by settlers and other practices by which this Israeli occupation is becoming synonymous with an apartheid system of colonial occupation, which institutionalizes the plague of racism and entrenches hatred and incitement.”
Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman, dismissed the UN.decision as “meaningless.”
“The remarks of the Palestinian leader tonight in New York are unfortunate. Instead of speaking the language of peace and reconciliation he came out with a litany of libelous charges against Israel and perverted historic truth. It’s Israel that wants peace, it’s Israel that is ready to except Palestinian statehood in the framework of peace and it is the Palestinian side that up until today refuses to except the legitimacy of the Jewish state,” Regev told Reuters Television.