JERUSALEM (JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly will “refute all the lies” being directed at Israel.
Netanyahu made the remarks on Sunday as he boarded a plane for New York a day before his speech to the world body. On Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his General Assembly speech accused Israel of committing a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip.
“In my address to the UN General Assembly, I will refute all of the lies being directed at us and I will tell the truth about our state and about the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli leader is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon the day before.
Abbas in his speech on Friday called 2014 “a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people,” and said the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was “a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world, moment by moment.”
Abbas also asserted that Israel does not want to make peace with the Palestinians and that the Palestinians will live in a “most abhorrent form of apartheid” under Israeli rule.
He also said that the Israeli government undermined the prospects for peace during the nine months of the recent U.S.-brokered peace talks that ended with no agreement.
Abbas said he would introduce a plan for a UN Security Council resolution that would set a deadline for a two-state solution using the 1967 borders.
Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, who also left Sunday for New York, criticized Abbas’ speech.
Referring to Abbas, Liberman said, “Abu Mazen’s words at the UN General Assembly sharply clarify again that Abu Mazen doesn’t want and can’t be a logical partner for a political settlement. Abbas isn’t a member of joint government with Hamas for no reason.”
Fatah and Hamas have signed a unity agreement that allows a government of Palestinian Authority technocrats to assume responsibility for Gaza.
The United States also condemned the Abbas speech, calling his statements “provocative.”
“President Abbas’ speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday. “Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties.”
Senior officials in Abbas’ office reportedly said a Palestinian proposal that would set a deadline for Israel to pull back to the 1967 borders will be given to the Security Council in the coming days.