PM Netanyahu addresses Congress fist 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Molly Riley)
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday said that there is no way to stop
the United Nations General Assembly from recognizing Palestinian
statehood in September. In the General Assembly, he remarked, "it would
be possible to get a resolution [passed] saying the world is flat," speaking at a Knesset Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee meeting.
added, however, "It's impossible to receive recognition of Palestinian
statehood that doesn't come from the Security Council, whose procedures
will lead to failure. We don't have any way to stop the resolution in
the GA, we're only expecting to be supported by a number of countries."
Egypt: No one will block opening of Rafah
Israel fears terrorists will exploit reopened
The presence of terrorist organizations is increasing in Sinai because
of Egypt's difficulty in exercising its sovereignty over the area, Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu noted that Hamas is getting stronger in Egypt and has moved to run its operations
from Syria to Egypt following anti-Assad uprisings
"Egypt has had difficulties exercising its sovereignty over Sinai. We saw this in the two gas pipe explosions
that occurred there," Netanyahu said. "What's happening in Sinai is
that global terrorist organizations are meddling there and their
presence is increasing because of the connection between Sinai and
Netanyahu's comments came after Al-Hayyat satellite television station on Monday reported that over 400 al-Qaida members have made their way into the Sinai Peninsula, according to a senior Egyptian security official.
The security sources said the terrorists carried
out "a number of attacks against [Egyptian] security forces in the Sinai
city of El Arish," the official told Al-Hayyat.
During the FADC meeting, Netanyahu warned that, "The Muslim Brotherhood is also not insignificant in Egypt.
"We are concerned about what happens around us, especially in Egypt and Jordan," he said.
The prime minister stressed that the situation should be shared with the public in light of the changing reality in the region.
"This was true before I left the US and even more so after what I said there," he stated, adding that his objective in the US
was to try to unite all the parties over the importance of "recognizing
Israel as the Jewish state" and that there should be an "Israeli
military presence along the Jordan [River], that the refugee problem
will not be solved in Jordan, and that Hamas is not committed to the
principles of the Quartet."
Commenting on his meeting with Obama
Netanyahu said "The conversation with the president was respectable. I
told the president that we cannot accept the 1967 lines."
"The final version of Obama's comments was received on the day just before his speech [to AIPAC]
where he said the borders will not be the same 1967 lines," Netanyahu
said. "There is very strong support for Israel coming from the American
On the changes taking place in the Arab world, Netanyahu
said, "There is a huge jolt in the Arab world and it should be handled
in a sober and responsible way.
Netanyahu also commented on peace
proposals by the Arabs saying, "Not all Arab claims are a [peace] plan
and not every instance in which we reject their principles means that we
do not want to advance the peace process."
"It is first necessary to unite around our own plan," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu also addressed the Ofer brothers affair
, in which the United
States placed sanctions on the Israeli businessmen after revealing they
had sold an oil tanker to Iran. The prime minister denied ever
authorizing the Ofer brothers' business with Iran or having any prior
knowledge of the affair.
The Prime Minister's Office did not authorize the contacts between the
Ofers' company and Iran, Netanyahu said. "I found out about it from a
journalist's question," adding that after checking with members of his
staff authorized to deal with such matters, "there was no permission for
any contact or delivery to Iran." "We have clear policies on this
matter," he added.Also speaking at the committee meeting , opposition
leader Tzipi Livni criticized Netanyahu for allowing diplomatic
conditions the preceding Kadima government accomplished to deteriorate
during his term as prime minister.
"We left you a supportive
world, excellent relations with the US, a world which opposed the
[Palestinian] right of return, [supported] leaving the [settlement
blocks] in Israeli hands. Hamas was weak and the world was
delegitimizing it," she said.
Today, she said to the prime
minister, "you eroded all of that. You eroded the American commitment to
Israel, Hamas has grown stronger and is receiving legitimacy."Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.