Israeli Ministers Slam 'Failed PA Provocation'

Foreign minister, defense minister and others say PA resolution shows it is committed to delegitimization not Oslo, suggest it be disbanded.

Ari Yashar,

Moshe Ya'alon, Avigdor Liberman
Moshe Ya'alon, Avigdor Liberman
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Israeli diplomats forcefully responded to the UN Security Council vote Tuesday night that saw the Palestinian Authority's (PA) unilateral bid for recognition as a state and demand for Israeli withdrawals by 2017 defeated.

Nine votes were needed to pass the resolution, which would then have likely been shot down by an American veto. Instead the resolution only received eight votes, five abstentions, with America and Australia voting against it.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said the failure at the UN should teach the PA that provocations and attempts to force unilateral processes on Israel won't get them anything.

"The contempt of the Palestinians for the most important countries in the international community, and at their head the United States, stems from the tailwind they receive from some European countries," accused Liberman. "Therefore, every country that truly wants to reach an agreement must act responsibly and clarify to the Palestinians that decisions are only reached at the negotiating table."

The PA "continues to prove it isn't interested in direct talks, but rather in provocations and acts of delegitimization against Israel," said Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) in response to the UN vote.

"In the decision to go to a UN Security Council vote in opposition to agreements that it (the PA) signed on, and the unfortunate support of certain countries in the international community, the PA continues to choose the unilateral path of opposition," said Ya'alon.

He continued saying "as it has acted in the last 20 years, since it signed on the Oslo Accords, the PA's path has only been to try to get from Israel and not give anything. We won't agree to this and we won't compromise on the security and future of the state of Israel."

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud) also responded to the UN vote, telling Kol Yisrael radio "every Israeli who wants peace with our neighbors can only be satisfied with the results of this vote."

Hanegbi stated that the PA failed in its attempts to isolate Israel, and for its part Israel succeeded in demanding direct talks to reach any sort of agreement. He added that if the PA follows through on its threat of joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), it will be the primary losers as a wave of legislation for the organization's terrorist activities awaits it.

In response to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's statements that he would pursue joining the ICC to attack Israel in court, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said the move "obligates serious and deterring response steps, such as freezing financial transfers to the Authority, and even moving towards disbanding the Authority and neutralizing it."

"In the period when I served as finance minister I leveled fines on the Authority for hundreds of millions in response to unilateral steps at the UN - and as a result the Authority avoided those kinds of steps for an extended period of time," said Steinitz.