Palestine envoy: Netanyahu risks isolating Israel

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu places a note in the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City March 18, 2015. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies have placed Israel on a collision course with the international community, the Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour told the New York Times Wednesday.

Should the PM succeed in forming a new government following his reelection, Mansour said he would further isolate his country.

“He is putting himself and the Israeli government, if he succeeds in forming it, in a complete collision with the international community, including the United States and Europe,” said Mansour.

In the days preceding the elections, Netanyahu - who had previously advocated a two-state solution in 2009 - had declared that a Palestinian state would not take form during his time in office.

“There’s a global consensus on a two-state solution,” Mansour said, adding that the Palestinians are considering how to deal with Netanyahu’s remarks.

“We will be strategizing and planning things,” he said.

“If Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to stick to fighting all of us, then all of us need to defend ourselves and fight back.”

Mansour said pushing for a Security Council resolution would only make sense if the U.S. - which vetoed a draft resolution setting a time frame for the establishment of a Palestinian state in December - “goes along with such an idea.”

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Powers had described the resolution as “deeply imbalanced” as it failed to cater to Israeli security needs.

Separately, the United Nations said on Wednesday that Israel needs to stick with the Middle East peace process to remain a democracy following Netanyahu’s statements abandoning the commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state.

In the final days of campaigning before Israeli voters went to the polls on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he would not permit a Palestinian state to be created under his watch and also promised to go on building settlements on occupied land.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes the peace process, including an end to illegal settlement building, is "the best and only way forward for Israel to remain a democratic state," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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