Netanyahu said Ban Ki-Moon’s attack on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria gave a “tail wind to terrorism.” The UN “long ago lost its neutrality and its moral strength,” he said.
Progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians requires that Israel freeze its “settlement building” in the “West Bank,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday, addressing the UN Security Council’s periodic Middle East debate. He referred to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community.”
His address was given the same day that Israelis buried a 24-year-old woman who was stabbed to death Monday by a Palestinian terrorist in a supermarket.
“The UN Secretary General’s remarks give a tailwind to terrorism,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in response. “There is no justification for terrorism. The Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state – they want to destroy a state and they say this openly. They want to murder Jews simply because they are Jews, and they say this openly. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights.”
“The UN lost its neutrality and moral force a long time ago and the Secretary General’s remarks do not improve the situation,” the Israeli leader asserted
The UN chief urged both sides to act in order “to prevent the two-state solution from slipping away forever,” focusing his strongest comments on Israel.
“As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to ‘occupation,’” the UN chief said, thereby placing the blame for Palestinian terror on Israeli policies.
Israel liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordan, which had occupied the territory for 19 years, during the 1967 Six Day War. Palestinians demand the territory as part of a future state.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense last week announced the approval of some 370 acres (150 hectares) of land near the city of Jericho in the Jordan Valley as state lands, in a move that drew sharp condemnation from the Obama Administration and the UN chief – although the area is under full Israeli control, as prescribed by the Oslo accords. There are no Palestinian villages there, and no Palestinian claims of ownership on the land have been made. The land has been tilled by Israeli farmers in past years.
Ban said he was “deeply troubled” by new reports that Israel’s government has approved plans for more than 150 new homes in communities in Judea and Samaria.
PA: All 15 Council Members Blame Israel
Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour later told reporters that all 15 council members acknowledged that Israel’s “settlement building” is “the main obstacle to any meaningful political process,” and he said the Palestinians are meeting with all council members to assess their readiness to act this year.
French Ambassador Francois Delattre said the international community should create a “specific and credible political horizon” for a solution to the tensions in the region.
Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi suggested Israel take the lead in calming tensions, adding that the Security Council “should seriously consider the question of providing international protection to the Palestinian people.” He gave no details, but Mansour said new council member Egypt would explore that issue.
Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, showed reporters what he called “terror dolls” that he said are used to teach hatred to Palestinian children.
US Ambassador Samantha Power told the council that the United States “strongly opposes settlement activity,” but added that “settlement activity can never in itself be an excuse for violence.”
Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed a willingness to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, but to no avail.
The last four months have seen near-daily Palestinian terror attacks that have killed 28 Israelis and an American student, and wounded more than 280 – 25 seriously.
Israel blames the violence on anti-Semitic incitement sanctioned by the Palestinian Authority.
By: United with Israel and AP