Netanyahu, Hamas both slam Abbas' UN statehood bid

PM says peace cannot be achieved unilaterally at the UN and by joining with Hamas; Gaza-based group also dismisses move, calls it "cosmetic."

September 16, 2011 21:41
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Hamas both dismissed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's bid to seek recognition of statehood in the United Nations, saying that the move will not bring peace or change reality on the ground, respectively.

The statements followed a speech Friday by Abbas, in which he clarified that he will in fact seek full membership in the United Nations at the Security Council, a move that is expected to be blocked by a United States veto.

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Netanyahu said that "peace cannot be achieved by going unilaterally to the United Nations and joining forces with terrorist Hamas," in a statement responding to an earlier speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.

A statement from PMO spokesman Ofir Gendelman added that "peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel, but the Palestinian Authority and its president have avoided them consistently."

He added, "When the PA abandons its futile moves, such as going to the UN, it will find Israel as a partner for direct negotiations for peace."

Hamas also criticized the speech, saying that any results of the United Nations bid would be "cosmetic, especially when Mahmoud Abbas said his aim is to return to the negotiations with the occupation after all."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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