Israel: Talks before Palestine statehood

Sept. 25, 2011 at 3:17 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Palestinians must negotiate peace in order to be granted statehood in the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

"What they are trying to do in the United Nations is to get a state without giving Israel peace or giving Israel peace and security. And I think that -- that's wrong. That should not succeed. ... But what should succeed is for them to actually sit down and negotiate with us to get two states for two people a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes as a Jewish state," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Israel, along with the United States, has said it will reject Palestinian statehood without first negotiating and establishing peace.

"I said to the U.N., you know -- better a bad press than a good eulogy -- I'm responsible for the faith of the one and only Jewish state. And I'm not going to head recklessly to feed more territory, you know, to the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam, as I call it," Netanyahu said.

The prime minister said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly turned down opportunities to negotiate peace.

"I said to President Abbas. Look, we are in the same city. We are in the same building, for God's sake, in the U.N. Let's just sit down and begin to talk peace. Why are we talking about talking, why are we negotiating about negotiating?" Netanyahu said.

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