‘Lies and incitement’: Israeli ambassador slams Abbas’ anti-peace speech at UN

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador, Gilad Erdan called the Palestinian PM’s UN speech a collection of “lies and incitement against Israel,” calling Mahmoud Abbas “desperate” in light of the Arab world’s warming ties with Israel.

By Associated Press

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called for an international conference early next year to launch a “genuine peace process” while criticizing the recent decision of two Arab countries to make peace with Israel.

Abbas acknowledged the growing international weariness with the Palestinians’ position as he delivered the latest in a long series of addresses to the U.N. General Assembly.

“I wondered while preparing this statement what more could I tell you, after all that I have said in previous statements,” he said in the video address from his headquarters in Ramallah.

The Palestinians have rejected President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the conflict, despite massvie economic incentives to make peace, and have officially cut off contacts with both the U.S. and Israel. Instead, the Palestinians demanded a multilateral peace process based on U.N. resolutions and past agreements.

They have also rejected the decision of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize ties with Israel, viewing it as a betrayal of the longstanding Arab consensus that recognition of Israel should only come in exchange for territorial concessions, which would be disastrous for Israel’s security.

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Israel’s U.N. Ambassador, Gilad Erdan, responded with a video statement calling Abbas’ speech a collection of “lies and incitement against Israel” and arguing that the Palestinian leader was “desperate” because of the agreements Israel reached with Bahrain and the UAE.

“All Abbas showed was continued Palestinian rejectionism,” Erdan said.

In his speech, Abbas said the agreements, signed at the White House earlier this month, are a “violation” of the “principles of a just and lasting solution under international law.”

For more than three decades, the Palestinians have sought an independent state in Samaria, Gaza and eastern portions of Jerusalem.

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu has focused on building ties with Arab, African and Asian countries that have long supported the Palestinian cause. In Israel, the agreement with the United Arab Emirates, an oil-rich country with considerable regional influence, represents a historic breakthrough that could transform the Middle East.