Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left Israel on Sunday en route to the United Nations in New York, saying he will refute “all of the lies directed at us” with regard to the Gaza war.
Netanyahu’s comments come after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas charged that Israel had committed “a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world” during an address to the General Assembly on Friday.
An angry Netanyahu promised an appropriate response when he himself addresses the General Assembly on Monday.
“In my address to the U.N. 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 Israel Defense Forces,” Netanyahu said.
The U.S. State Department issued a tough diplomatic rejoinder to Abbas’ speech. Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (sah-ki) said the speech included offensive characterizations that the United States rejects as provocative, counterproductive and unhelpful to attempts to restore trust between Israel and the Palestinians.
In addition, Abbas claimed there is no value in peace talks with Israel unless the goal is a “firm timetable” for withdrawal from Yehudah and Shomron. Abbas said the Palestinians and the Arab Group have been working on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to call for an Israeli withdrawal within “two to three years.”