World Bulletin / News Desk
Member of the Knesset (Israel's parliament) and former opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich on Tuesday criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Monday speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, saying it had disappointed the Israeli people.
"The speech did not deliver good news for Israelis, who are desperate for hope," Yachimovich, a former leader of Israel's Labor party, was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.
"The prime minister should have delivered a new diplomatic horizon, taking advantage of [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas's anti-Israeli hate speech," she said, "but he does not miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
Yachimovich nevertheless renewed calls for opening talks with Abbas, saying he represented Israel's only viable Palestinian peace partner.
"Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians is a clear Zionist-Israeli interest," she argued.
In his Monday speech at the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu slammed Abbas' address, delivered earlier before the same assembly, in which the Palestinian leader accused Israel of committing "genocide" during its recent 51-day military onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
"In Gaza, the real war crimes are committed by Hamas, who used civilians as human shields," Netanyahu said.
He attempted to draw a link between Hamas – a Palestinian resistance faction – and the ISIL militant group, saying both were "branches of the same poisonous tree."
He also claimed that Israel had made "painful concessions" for peace, unlike Abbas' Palestinian Authority, going on to assert that the latter must recognize Israel as a "Jewish" state in any future peace deal.
On July 7, Israel began a weeks-long military offensive against Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip with the declared aim of halting rocket fire from the coastal Palestinian territory.
During 51 days of fierce Israeli bombardment, more than 2,150 Palestinians were killed and nearly 11,000 injured – mostly civilians – while thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed.
Over the same period, at least 73 Israelis – 68 soldiers and five civilians – were killed by Palestinian fighters or rockets.
The Israeli onslaught ended late last month with an indefinite cease-fire that was celebrated by Hamas as a strategic victory over the self-proclaimed Jewish state.Last Mod: 30 Eylül 2014, 13:28