Peres at Rabin funeral_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Shimon Peres called on the Palestinian leadership to return immediately
to direct negotiations with Israel, speaking at the official government
memorial for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at Mount Herzl on
Addressing Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood
outside the framework of negotiations with Israel, Peres said that
"peace will not be achieved in the UN." Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas's bid for full membership in the United Nations will be
voted upon in the Security Council later this week.
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international organization, the president added, cannot provide neither
independence to the Palestinians nor security to Israel.
Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also attacked the Palestinian
statehood bid in the UN, saying the pursuit of unilateral statehood goes
against the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel, during closed-door
discussions in his office.
“By boycotting negotiations and by going instead to the United Nations,
they [the Palestinians] have reneged on a central tenet of Oslo,”
The prime minister said that as part of the Oslo Accords in the 1990s,
Israel paid a territorial price, and that the Palestinians had made a
commitment to solve all outstanding issues and disputes through direct
In addition to seeking full membership in the United Nations General
Assembly, the Palestinians have also sought membership in other United
Nations organizations in recent weeks.
Last week, UNESCO recognized Palestine as its 195th member, a move
condemned by both the United States and Israel. In response to the move,
both countries halted their funding of the UN organization.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report