Israel: Palestinian statehood bid doomed

Sept. 18, 2011 at 9:00 AM
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JERUSALEM, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- The pending Palestinian appeal to the United Nations for statehood was ridiculed Sunday by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

At a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he was confident the U.N. Security Council would turn down the statehood request in New York Friday, Haaretz reported.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to make the appeal in light of stalemated bilateral talks. Abbas has said if the Security Council turns him down, he'll repeat his appeal to the full General Assembly, which Netanyahu made a joke of in the Sunday meeting, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"It is possible to decide there that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, and this would pass there," he said, "But it has neither the same weight nor the same importance."

In a conciliatory statement issued Friday, Abbas said the U.N. bid was meant to "delegitimize" the occupation of lands but not Israel as a state, the Post said.

Netanyahu said he would travel to New York this week to "to present our truth, which is that we are not foreigners and we have (land) rights going back 4,000 years."

He said any agreement with Palestinians would have to come from direct bilateral talks and not the United Nations.

"At the end of the day I believe that after the smoke clears the Palestinians will come to their senses and sit down for negotiations that will bring peace for us and our neighbors," he said.

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