Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for obliterating the Middle East peace process by refusing to negotiate.
Appearing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Netanyahu said he believes conciliatory talks between the two states remains possible if Abbas would recognize Israeli statehood.
“The Palestinians want a state, but they have to give peace in return,” he told host David Gregory. “What they’re trying to do in the United Nations is to get a state without giving Israel peace…and I think that’s wrong.”
Netanyahu, who’s in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly, said he told Abbas, ‘Look, we’re in the same city, we’re in the same building, for godssake, in the United Nations. Let’s just sit down and begin to talk peace.’ ”
He said Abbas is making an end run, instead.
“I think the Palestinians are trying to get away without negotiating,” Netanyahu said. “They’re trying to basically detour around peace negotiations by going to the United Nations and having the automatic majority in the United Nations General Assembly give them a state,” he said. “That’s unfortunate.”
Netanyahu flatly denied reports his state is isolated.
“Many, many countries are coming to realize that our demand that we have direct negotiations, and that the Palestinians finally recognize the Jewish state and give this tiny country, Israel, the security requirements it needs, people are getting around to that,” he said.
When asked whether Israel would relinquish the West Bank, Netanyahu replied, “I’m not going to head recklessly to feed more territory to the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam, as I call it. I want to first erect a wall against this military that takes over every territory that we vacate.”
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