Netanyahu hits back at Abbas for ‘slanderous’ UN ‘genocide’ speech

Netanyahu hits back at Abbas for ‘slanderous’ UN ‘genocide’ speech

Ahead of his own address to the UN on Monday, PM lambastes incitement by PA leader, also slams ‘deceitful’ Iranian president

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement on August 20, 2014 in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: AFP/JACK GUEZ)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement on August 20, 2014 in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: AFP/JACK GUEZ)

Ahead of his own scheduled speech at the United Nations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Saturday to “repel the slanders and lies spewed” against the state of Israel by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his speech to the General Assembly on Friday. Abbas in his address accused Israel of committing genocide against residents of the Gaza Strip during the IDF’s 50-day-long operation in the Palestinian enclave which came to an end last month.

Netanyahu further claimed that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had “deceived” the international community when he suggested Saturday that an agreement over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program could end the more than three-decade deep-freeze in relations between Washington and Tehran and mark “the beginning of a path toward collaboration and cooperation.”

“After the deceitful speech of the Iranian president and Abbas’s inciting words, I will tell the truth of the citizens of Israel to the whole world,” Netanyahu said. The prime minister is set to address the General Assembly on Monday, and to meet with US President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

Netanyahu starts his visit to the United States with a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first tete-a-tete in a decade between Indian and Israeli heads of state. He’ll also meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon weighed in an Abbas’s remarks as well, asserting that the PA leader’s speech “proved for the umpteenth time that [Abbas] is not a leader who wants peace and strives to advance the lives of his people, but a person who is propagating lies, is engaged in incitement and spreads hate speech against Israel.”

In his address to the UN General Assembly, Abbas demanded an end to the occupation, accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in Gaza, and asserted that Palestinians faced a future in a “most abhorrent form of apartheid” under Israeli rule.

Abbas called 2014 “a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people,” and said that Israel was not interested in living in peace with its Palestinian neighbors.

“It’s a speech of incitement full of lies,” an unnamed source from the Prime Minister’s Office said soon after Abbas had delivered the address on Friday. “That’s not how someone who wants peace speaks.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement shortly after Abbas’s speech that the PA president demonstrated that “he doesn’t want to be, and cannot be, a partner for a logical diplomatic resolution.

“It’s no coincidence that he joined a [national consensus] government with Hamas,” the foreign minister added. “Abbas complements Hamas when he deals with diplomatic terrorism and slanders Israel with false accusations.

The US condemned Abbas’s statements too, with a spokeswoman for the State Department saying it was “offensive” and undermined peace efforts.

MKs across the spectrum also castigated Abbas for the speech, though more dovish legislators also urged a resumption of peace talks.

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