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." 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. At the end of the day I believe that after the smoke clears the Palestinians will come to their senses and sit down for negotiations that will bring peace for us and our neighbors."
“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.
It concluded saying “when the Palestinian Authority will abandon its futile measures, firstly its unilateral decision to approach the UN, it will find Israel as a partner for negotiations and peace.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on 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.
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.
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