Netanyahu: Iran wants to use Syria to eradicate Israel

Wednesday, 30 Aug, 2017

Netanyahu went on to say that, in regard to Israel, the United Nations had failed to live up to its mandate to advance peace and security and worldwide cooperation.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, visiting the West Bank Tuesday, called Israeli settlements a "major obstacle" to peace with Palestinians, noting that they are "illegal under worldwide law".

Netanyahu appears to have been emboldened by the election of President Donald Trump, who, unlike a string of predecessors, has not endorsed the idea of a two-state solution.

"We are here to stay, forever", Netanyahu said, at an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, according to Haaretz.

"We are not going to state what the outcome has to be", Nauert said in response to a question about the two-state solution. "Settlements will not be uprooted". "We got rockets", he added, referring to the 2005 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and subsequent conflicts.

Israeli leaders also pressed Mr. Guterres to prod the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, into fulfilling its mandate to prevent Hezbollah's weapons buildup.

The two-state solution envisions an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, and has been the focus of worldwide diplomacy since at least the early 1990s.

With Netanyahu avoiding talk of Palestinian independence or a territorial withdrawal, the Palestinians are pushing the new US administration to take a stand.

It has been clear for some time now that Netanyahu's government has no interest in two states.

Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, accompanied by the Israeli police chief, took a tour of the city during which he visited Jewish districts in the occupied city, Palestine Today reported.

Jewish lawmakers were allowed to visit in the morning while Muslim lawmakers were permitted to do so in the afternoon although they said they did not intend to do so.

Peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in 2014.

The Palestinians have expressed impatience with Kushner's slow start.

"I sometimes disagree with [the] positions of the government of Israel", Guterres said, emphasizing that as the UN General-Secretary, he's committed to "treating all states equally".

Arab-Israeli lawmakers, who were also affected by the ban, said they would not enter the compound on Tuesday, preferring to do so at a time of their own choosing. "It has been proven that it does not help peace", the prime minister continued.

"Guterres wishes to be both impartial and a messenger of peace", Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said. "We don't want to talk from scratch", he said.

"I think it [the UN] has an absurd obsession with Israel, flagrantly discriminatory tactics - you don't have to be the Israeli prime minister to understand that", Netanyahu said during a joint press conference with Guterres.

They note the White House has not even clearly committed to a two-state solution to the conflict, in contrast to longstanding USA policy.

His visit to Barkan is the third at an official event in the West Bank in recent weeks.

Monday evening Guterres, accompanied by Netanyahu and Danon, will view an exhibition of Israeli innovations at Jerusalem's Israel Museum.