Palestinians: Netanyahu Speech to U.S. Congress Is Obstacle to Peace

Spokesman for Palestinian President Abbas said that the things stated in Prime minister Netanyahu's speech 'will not lead to peace.'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vision for ending conflict with Palestinians put "more obstacles" in front of the Middle East peace process, the spokesman for the Palestinian president said.

"What came in Netanyahu's speech will not lead to peace," Nabil Abu Rdainah, the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Reuters following Netanyahu's address to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

The prime minister addressed the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, where he called on the Palestinians to destroy the recent reconciliation deal they made with Hamas.

"I say to Abbas, tear up your pact with Hamas, make peace with a Jewish State," Netanyahu said.

The prime minister spent a significant part of his speech speaking about the conflict with the Palestinians, claiming that it was not about the creation of a Palestinian state but about "the existence of the Jewish state."

"If the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear why has peace eluded us?" Netanyahu asked. "Because so far the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state if it meant accepting a Jewish state beside it."

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed the prime minister's speech, saying it was "full of lies" and "distorted history and geography."

MK Ahmed Tibi said that Netanyahu "misled" the Congress members by describing Israel as a place where Arabs are equal citizens.

"There is not one are where there is equality between Jews and Arabs," Tibi said.

Palestinians have said that they will meet in Ramallah on Wednesday to determine what their next step will be, following Netanyahu's visit to Washington.