As PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) counts the hours until the PA is accepted into the United Nations as a non-member General Assembly observer, Israeli officials are still weighing how to react. It is clear that the harsh reaction that was discussed by senior Israeli ministers weeks ago is unlikely, and while Israel and the United States remain opposed to the PA’s unilateral move, Jerusalem is not like to respond too drastically, such as annexing Yehuda and Shomron, one of the options discussed by national leaders.
Speaking in the Jerusalem based Menachem Begin Heritage Center today; 15 Kislev 5773, hours ahead of the UN vote, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released the following statement.
“Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian state, but for peace to endure, Israel’s security must be protected. The Palestinians must recognize the Jewish State and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all. None of these vital interests, these vital interests of peace, none of them appear in the resolution that will be put forward before the General Assembly today and that is why Israel cannot accept it. The only way to achieve peace is through agreements that are reached by the parties directly; through valid negotiations between themselves, and not through UN resolutions that completely ignore Israel’s vital security and national interests. And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards.
“As for the rights of the Jewish people in this land, I have a simple message for those people gathered in the General Assembly today: No decision by the UN can break the 4000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)