Abbas: Netanyahu speech is obstacle to peace
Palestinian Authority chief Mahmud Abbas said on Wednesday that without a renewal of peace talks, the Palestinians will seek UN recognition. He made these comments a day after a major speech by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the US Congress.
"Our first choice is negotiations, but if there is no progress before September we will go to the United Nations," Abbas said. According to AFP, the Palestinian leader noted Netanyahu's speech only served to add obstacles on the road to peace and contained "errors and distortions."
In his speech, the Israeli Prime Minister reiterated his call for the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and repeatedly refused to return to the borders of 1967. He also insisted on the occupation of the city of Jerusalem.
And Netanyahu urged Abbas to stand before his people and say: "I will accept a Jewish state" and this will convince Israelis that they have a real partner for peace.
Netanyahu also called on Abbas to cancel the unity agreement which he concluded with Hamas.
- Better late than never? 'Balfour' British guilt finally surfaces in pro-Palestinian statehood overture
- Carter cites “hurdles” in Netanyahu’s speech
- Netanyahu cancels peace talks over Palestinian unity progress
- Majority of Israelis think Netanyahu should cancel Congress speech
- Assad: Israel ”major obstacle” to peace