Abbas, Netanyahu trade accusations at the UN
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked each other in speeches before world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. Here is look at some of their remarks:
In his speech on Friday, Abbas accused Israel of conducting a “war of genocide” during this summer’s 50-day war in Gaza, saying the Israeli military targeted civilians and committed war crimes.
Netanyahu said Monday that Hamas committed “the real war crimes” in Gaza by using Palestinian civilians as human shields. He said that those who intend to carry out genocide don’t warn people to evacuate targeted areas by dropping flyers, making phone calls, sending text messages and broadcast warnings in Arabic on Palestinian television, as Israel did.
A CHANCE AT PEACE
In his address to world leaders, Abbas said the Israeli government had undermined every opportunity for peace. He said that throughout months of peace negotiations, Israel has continued to breach agreements, build settlements, confiscate land, and force the displacement of people in the West Bank.
Netanyahu said Israel wants peace with the Palestinians. He said the challenge is militant Islam, and a broader rapprochement between Israel and other Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Abbas said in his address that peace is not possible under the scenario of occupation proposed by the Israelis. “The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestinian people is at best isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands, without borders and without sovereignty over its airspace, water and natural resources.”
Netanyahu refuted arguments that Israel was occupying lands. “I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land. The people of Israel are not occupiers in the land of Israel,” he said.
Abbas defended the decision to form a national unity government between his Fatah faction and Hamas as a way of restoring unity in Gaza.
Netanyahu said Hamas was a terrorist organization, and he likened it to the Islamic State group: “Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas, and what they share, all militant Islamists share in common.”
Abbas said the Palestinians were turning to the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution for ending the occupation, with a timetable.
Israel and the United States maintain that the only resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through direct negotiations between the two sides.