Netanyahu Accuses Rohani and Abbas of Deception, Incitement

PM says will 'tell the truth' in UN and repel 'lies and slander' thrown at Israel.

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Netanyahu addressing the UN General Assembly. October 1, 2013.
Netanyahu addressing the UN General Assembly. October 1, 2013.Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said his speech at the United Nations General Assembly will focus on responding to Iranian President Hassan Rohani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Netanyahu, who is set to depart to New York on Sunday and address the assembly on Monday, accused Rohani and Abbas of deception and incitement.

"After a deceptive speech by the Iranian president and an inciting speech by Abu-Mazen (Abbas) I will tell the truth of the Israeli citizens to the whole world," Netanyahu said in a statement issued on Saturday.

"In my speech in front of the UNGA and in all of my meetings, I will represent Israel's citizens, and repel, in their name, the lies and slander thrown at our country," he said.

On Friday, Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly and accused Israel of conducting a "war of genocide" during the 50-day summer conflict in Gaza, and added that he will seek a UN resolution to set a deadline for Israel to pull out of Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 war.

Abbas also accused Israel of foiling the U.S.-mediated negotiations prior to the Gaza hostilities, by perpetuating "settlement construction, land confiscations, home demolitions, killing and arrest campaigns, and forced displacement in the West Bank."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, set to fly to New York on Saturday night, said that he intends to tell all his foreign counterparts that the present Palestinian leadership blocks progress toward an agreement and harms the ties between the sides.

"The international community must reach the necessary conclusions regarding the support it gives Abbas and the Palestinian Authority under his leadership," Lieberman said.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also slammed the Palestinian president and said he is "a man who spreads lies and incitement, and disseminates hatred against the State of Israel."

Ya'alon said Abbas is no partner for peace with Israel. "In the last time after who knows how many times we realize that any discussion over border with a liar like Abbas, one who didn't really accept our existence here and for whom every Israeli concession is another stage in the Palestinian plan – any such discussion is simply out of touch with reality," he said.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also criticized the Palestinian president, and accused him of having a "soft spot" for "murderers, rocket attackers, and in general for our enemies."

"The idea of the Palestinian state flew away this year together with the rockets launched at the Ben Gurion International Airport two months ago," Bennett said.

Opposition leader and chairman of the Labor Party MK Isaac Herzog said: "Abu Mazen'z (Abbas') words last night were tough, disappointing and false, but not surprising."

Herzog added that while he completely rejects Abbas' statements, it's in Israel's interests to deal with the Palestinian Authority, not with Hamas. "I'm not part to the 'I told you so' policy of Netanyahu, backed by Bennett and Lieberman. Israel must present an agenda which will bring the region calm and security," Herzog said.

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