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December 6, 2021

Netanyahu: Palestinian statehood bid at UN bound to fail

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has said he wanted recognition as a state within 1967 borders.

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that “the Palestinians’ wish to become a permanent UN member… is bound to fail because they have to go through the Security Council”, Ha’aretz informs.  He said that even though the Palestinians can opt to turn to the general assembly, “it does not have the same significance of the Security Council, and that is not the Palestinians’ stated goal.”

Netanyahu decided last week to address the UN General Assembly next Friday, the day the Palestinians will submit their statehood bid. According to Neta­nya­hu, the purpose of his visit to the UN is to make sure that the Palestinian “move to circumvent negotiations does not succeed, and… to present our truth, which is that we are not foreigners and we have rights going back 4,000 years.” Netanyahu added that “we are ready to enter negotiations if the Palestinians want to.” “Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel, a statement released by the prime minister’s office said on Friday, accusing the Palestinian Au­thority of consistently avoiding talks with Israel.

Palestinian Authority Presi­dent Mahmoud Abbas said last Friday that the Palestinians plan to approach the United Nations Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to delegitimize the occupation, not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood, the BBC informs. He stressed that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognized borders of a future Pales­ti­nian state, they are engaging in illegitimate activity. He said full UN status was a legitimate right for the Palestinian people. Abbas’s move sets up a confrontation with Israel, which sees the initiative as an attempt to isolate it. Washington is also opposed, saying it will use its veto. US officials urged the two sides to return to the negotiating table whatever happened in New York. The Palestinian leader said he wanted recognition as a state within 1967 borders. This includes the West Bank – including East Jerusalem – and the Gaza Strip. All of these areas were occupied by Israel in 1967. The veto could inflame Arab opinion at a time of huge upheaval in the Middle East. But Abbas also aimed to play down expectations, the BBC says, adding that the move would not end Israel’s occupation. He urged Palestinians to remain peaceful, saying violence would harm the Palestinian cause, and he stressed the UN move was not a substitute for negotiations.

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