President Mahmoud Abbas plans to seek UN recognition for a Palestinian state in September, despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to US Congress.
Speaking to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Abbas said the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech contained “nothing we can build on” and described his words as travelling “far from peace”.
President Abbas said: “We will ask the states of the United Nations to recognise our state. In doing this, we do not aim to isolate Israel or deprive it of legitimacy. Work on these negotiations is not unilateral, but the continued construction of settlements is a unilateral action by the Israeli government.”
Netanyahu told the US Congress on Tuesday that Israel would not agree to land swaps or going back to the borders before 1967, but that it is willing to make “painful compromises”.
Both Netanyahu and President Obama have criticised Abbas’s plan to gain official recognition for Palestine from the UN.