Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he will tell the world how to deal with the aftermath of July’s nuclear deal with Iran, as he took off for New York for a planned speech at the United Nations.
Speaking to reporters from the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport before boarding his airplane, Netanyahu said his address would also focus on pushing back at what he termed Palestinians “incitement” and “crude lies” over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount holy site.
“I will … tell the nations of the world the truth about Israel, about our country,” he said.
The prime minister’s speeches to the UN assembly in the last several years dealt largely with the issue of Iran’s nuclear program and trying to stymie the agreement between world powers and Iran that Jerusalem claims does little to push Tehran further from a nuclear weapon.
Netanyahu said he plans on telling the nations of the world what he expects of them in the wake of the deal, as well as explaining the threats to Israel’s northern border emanating from Syria.
While in New York, Netanyahu is also slated to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss “ways to strengthen Israel’s security,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu’s speech will come a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the annual confab, amid heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions over the Temple Mount and moribund peace efforts.
Despite reports that Abbas would drop “a bombshell” in his address to the UN General Assembly, a former Palestinian minister said Abbas is unlikely to rock the boat, following US administration pressure on the PA leader to avoid making overt threats.
“I will also address the issue of peace with the Palestinians, and I will emphasize Israel’s desire to reach peace,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said he would reiterate that Israel intends to maintain the status quo at the Temple Mount, while demanding Palestinians stop inciting violence over the holy site. “Israel is committed to the status quo,” he said. “Israel maintains the status quo.”
Palestinians rioters “who bring weapons, pipe bombs and fireworks” to the Temple Mount and into the al-Aqsa Mosque “desecrate the holy places, and they are the ones who violate the status quo there,” he said.
“Israel is an island of stability,” he added. “These and a few other things I will say at the General Assembly.”
Monday saw renewed clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces on the flashpoint compound considered holy to both Jews and Muslims.