UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations said on Wednesday that Israel needs to stick with the Middle East peace process to remain a democracy after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abandoned a commitment ahead of his re-election to negotiate a Palestinian state.
In the final days of campaigning before Israeli voters went to the polls on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would not permit a Palestinian state to be created under his watch and also promised to go on building settlements on occupied land.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes the peace process, including an end to illegal settlement building, is "the best and only way forward for Israel to remain a democratic state," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.
Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor responded: "The United Nations may disagree with the policies of the Israeli government, but there is one fact that can't be disputed - that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East."
"If the UN is so concerned about the future of the Palestinian people, it should be asking why President (Mahmoud) Abbas is in the tenth year of a five-year presidential term," Proser said in a statement.