Israeli PM denounces UN draft resolution on Palestinian statehood as "one-sided"

2012-11-29 12:19:57 GMT2012-11-29 20:19:57(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday denounced a United Nations draft resolution on Palestinian statehood, saying that it is "one-sided" and will not advance the peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The draft resolution, which will upgrade Palestine's status at the UN from a non-member entity to a non-member state, is expected to be put to a vote at the 194-member UN General Assembly later Thursday and is very likely to gain a landslide approval.

Speaking at an educational center in Jerusalem dedicated to the legacy of late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Netanyahu said: "Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian state, but for peace to endure, Israel's security must be protected. The Palestinians must recognize the Jewish State and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all."

"None of these vital interests of peace, none of them appear in the resolution that will be put forward before the General Assembly today and that is why Israel cannot accept it," he added.

"And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn't advance peace, it pushes it backwards," Netanyahu said.

The Israeli prime minister also reiterated his calls for the Palestinians to achieve peace through direct negotiations with Israel.

"The only way to achieve peace is through agreements that are reached by the parties directly; through valid negotiations between themselves, and not through UN resolutions that completely ignore Israel's vital security and national interests," he said.

Israeli government and foreign ministry officials have strongly lobbied Western states to oppose the Palestinians' UN bid, but so far, only the United States, Canada, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands are siding with Israel. Germany, which had planned to vote against the Palestinian bid, on Thursday morning announced that they would abstain.

The voting date marks the 65th anniversary of the UNGA's approval of Resolution 181 calling for the partition of the then British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state.

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