Peres to the PA: Return to talks immediately

President says that PA moves for statehood in the UN will not bring independence for Palestinians or security for Israel, at Rabin memorial.

Peres at Rabin funeral_311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Peres at Rabin funeral_311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
President 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 Wednesday.
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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The international organization, the president added, cannot provide neither independence to the Palestinians nor security to Israel.
On 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,” Netanyahu said.
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 negotiations.
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