Abbas: Palestine to go to UN in September

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has said that without a renewal of peace talks with Israel, the Palestinians will seek UN recognition.

Abbas’s comments, on Wednesday, came a day after a major speech by Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister.

“Our first choice is negotiations, but if there is no progress before September we will go to the United Nations,” Abbas said, criticising Netanyahu’s speech to the US congress on Tuesday, which, he said, was devoid of any new incentive to restart peace talks.

The Palestinian leader said Netanyahu’s speech only served to add obstacles on the road to peace and contained “errors and distortions”.

‘Painful compromises’

The Israeli leader, who addressed Congress on the last day of a trip to Washington, said he was willing to make “painful compromises” for peace.

But he ruled out a division of Jerusalem, the return of Palestinian refugees, and the possibility of using the borders that existed before 1967 as a basis for peace negotiations.

Earlier, in a key policy speech on Thursday, Barack Obama, the US president, had called for new talks based on the lines in place before the 1967 Six Day War.

But Netanyahu used the trip to reject the 1967 lines as “indefensible” and insisted that Israel would never accept them as a basis for negotiations.

Officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah said the speech had only added more “obstacles” on the path to peace.

Meanwhile, Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers said Netanyahu had laid down conditions which were “impossible” for the Palestinians to meet.

“There is nothing new in Netanyahu’s speech except that he is adding obstacles on the road towards a genuine, serious, lasting and comprehensive peace,” said Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. – ALJAZEERA

The United States and the EU has brokered a deal with the Palestinian leadership to divide Jerusalem with them. This will cause Israel to go on the defense and make an attempt at militarily halting the divide. The EU will try to force Israel to comply.

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