Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out strongly against the United Nations on Sunday for turning a blind eye to Palestinian incitement against Israel, and instead supporting Ramallah’s statehood bid to the Security Council.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Iran was increasing its efforts to arm the Palestinians in the West Bank against Israel, a move he said was encouraged by the Palestinian Authority envoy to Tehran.
“In recent weeks we have seen a stepped-up Iranian effort to intensify terrorist actions in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said, using the biblical term for the West Bank. “None other than the PA ambassador to Tehran said he was enthusiastic about the instructions by Iranian leader Khamenei to send weapons to the West Bank.”
The prime minister proceeded to quote the Palestinian envoy who said Israel was “an aggressive cancerous growth that must be destroyed sooner or later,” emphasizing that “this was not a Hamas member who said this, this is the envoy of the PA in Tehran.”
The prime minister condemned the UN for failing to combat the incitement, and for supporting the Palestinian’s move to pass a resolution which would call on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem by 2017.
“Instead of dealing with this incitement, they give it a place of honor,” he said of the UN. The international body is also in favor of advancing the Palestinian resolution “whose goal is to impose a settlement which will establish a second ‘Hamastan’ here and endanger our security.”
The prime minister pledged that Israel will “continue to firmly insist on what we hold to be true, and will forcefully reject attempts to impose conditions on us that endanger our security and future.”
Senior PA official Saeb Erekat said Friday that the Palestinian Authority will push the United Nations Security Council for a vote on the Palestinians’ statehood bid by Monday at the latest.
The bid calls for the recognition of a Palestinian state and an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines by 2017. The draft resolution sets a 12-month deadline for wrapping up negotiations on a final settlement. A final peace deal would pave the way to the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as a shared capital, according to the text.
Erekat indicated that some revisions were made to the Jordanian-drafted text but it is not yet clear what items appeared on the finalized version, Israel Radio reported. The document has not been made public.
During an interview with al-Arabiya on Friday, Erekat compared Netanyahu to the leader of the brutal jihadist group the Islamic State, which conquered large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria by pillaging villages, killing, raping and enslaving thousands of people and imposing a radical version of Islam on its subjects.
“We are witnessing a war against Daesh,” said Erekat, using the Arab acronym of the group’s name, “and this is a just war. But just like Abu Bakr al Baghdadi considers himself the leader of the ‘Islamic State,’ Benjamin Netanyahu heads the ‘Jewish State,’” he charged during the interview, a portion of which was aired on Channel 2 Friday evening.
“There is no difference between the crime of laying an American or Western journalist on the ground and beheading him [as IS has done with several journalists and aid workers since September] and between a criminal who lays Muhammad Abu Khdeir on the ground and burns him alive,” he said in reference to the murder of a Palestinian teenager from east Jerusalem this summer at the hands of Jewish terrorists who carried out the killing as an act of revenge for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June.
The Palestinian Authority has refused to postpone the Security Council vote until after Israel’s March 17 elections, despite international pressure. Earlier last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that his administration would “no longer deal” with Israel if the United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a final peace deal fails.