In a defiant speech at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea that Palestine should be granted statehood through a proposed UN resolution, and called for the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to meet him today to begin renewed peace talks.Speaking just hours after Abbas announced that he had submitted an application to the UN asking for Palestine to be recognised as an independent state alongside Israel, Netanyahu insisted that Palestine refused to accept the existence of any Israeli state in the Middle East.
“The core of the conflict has always been he refusal of the Palestinians to accept the existence of a Jewish state in any border,” Netanyahu said.
“recognise the Jewish state and make peace with us,” he added.
President Obama has already said that the United States will use its veto power to block the Palestinian application for statehood if it comes before the U.N. Security Council.
Netanyahu began his speech by criticising the UN for its repeated condemnations of Israel’s actions. Israel, he said, has only acted to defend itself from the threat of a, “militant Islamic storm.” Citing 9/11 and the threat of a nuclear Iran, Netanyahu said that Israel would not accede to Palestinian demands for independent statehood out of fear that it would endanger Israel’s safety.
“These problems will explode in our face and explode the peace,” he said.
“The Palestinians should first make their peace with Israel, and then get their state,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Abbas accused Israel of creating an apartheid state in Palestine, and said that Israeli settlements there were the primary roadblock to reaching a peace deal. But Netanyahu rejected that claim, saying that the settlements are a result, and not the source of, the conflict.
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