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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Prime Minister Netanyahu Monday in Jerusalem following his meeting with Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
The UN Secretary General vocalized immense support for the Palestinians, calling on renewed peace talks and attending a Gaza reconstruction fundraising conference, which raised over $5.4 billion for the Palestinians.
Netanyahu was swift to criticize UN bias towards Gaza, addressing Hamas’s terror activities and thousands of rockets fired into Israel during Operation Protective Edge. In a press conference with Ki-moon he stated, “Hamas’s rocket attacks often exploited UN neutrality, using UN facilities and UN schools as part of the Hamas machine of terror. And when rockets were discovered inside UN schools, some UN officials handed them back to Hamas – that very same Hamas that was rocketing Israeli cities and Israeli civilians…. Hamas is the enemy of all of us who seek peace. And a real peace can only be achieved through bilateral negotiations with those who believe in peace.”
His remarks on bilateral talks come during a time in which EU states continue to debate to recognize a “State of Palestine” and the Palestinian Authority is strong in pressing its draft resolution in the Security Council on a deadline for Israel’s withdrawal to 1967 borders in the West Bank. Monday morning Palestinian leaders claimed that they have enough support in the Security Council to pass the draft, however the United States has been clear on its veto power in the event the resolution were to be voted on.
Netanyahu stated, “I believe that unilateral steps by Palestinians at the United Nations will not advance peace. If the United Nations wants to a support a genuine reconciliation, it must avoid any steps that could undermine peace.”
The prime minister also addressed Ki-moon’s remarks Monday morning in regards to continued clashes between Israeli and Palestinians at holy sites in Jerusalem, specifically the Temple Mount. Netanyahu pointed out the “repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem” after riots Monday morning at the Temple Mount by Palestinian extremists who are instigating violence through incitement.” He clarified that “I’m committed, and Israel is committed, to maintaining the status quo exactly as it’s been for many decades. Israel scrupulously maintains the protection of the holy sites, the right of all religions to worship in their holy places, and will continue to do so, maintaining order, maintaining freedom of worship.”
Amir Tsarfati, a Jewish Christian, is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.