Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attacked on Friday the remarks made by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and called him back to the negotiating table immediately.
“Peace cannot be achieved by going to the UN unilaterally and not by joining the terrorist organization Hamas,” Netanyahu said in a statement quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 News. “Peace will only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel.”
The statement added, “The Palestinian Authority and its leader consistently avoid direct talks with Israel. When the PA abandons its futile moves such as unilaterally going to the UN, it will find in Israel a partner for direct negotiations for peace.”
In a speech he made in Ramallah earlier on Friday, Abbas confirmed that he will ask the United Nations Security Council next week to endorse his statehood bid.
“We are going to the United Nations to request our legitimate right, obtaining full membership for Palestine in this organization,” Abbas said, adding, however, that he did not rule out other, unspecified options. He also acknowledged that his UN move would not end the conflict with Israel.
Abbas urged PA Arabs to refrain from violence, saying “anything other than peaceful moves will harm us and sabotage our endeavors.”
Abbas’ confirmation comes as no surprise, after PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki announced Thursday that the entity plans to submit its bid for full UN membership with the Council on Friday, September 23.
Netanyahu has announced he will personally deliver Israel’s opening speech at the United Nations General Assembly when it convenes on September 20 and that during that speech he intends “to tell the truth to those who wish to hear the truth.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)