Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu rebuked the United Nations envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov for his remarks on Tuesday harshly criticizing Israeli building in Judea and Samaria.
Mladenov’s comments to the U.N. Security Council “distort history and international law and push peace farther away,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace,” Netanyahu said. “The obstacle to peace is the unending attempt to deny the Jewish People’s connection to parts of their historic land and the obdurate refusal to recognize that they are not foreigners there.”
Mladenov briefed the U.N. Security Council about working toward a resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing that all building in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, is considered illegal and “undermine[s] an already precarious situation.”
Netanyahu said Mladenov’s claim is “as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal. The Palestinian demand that a future Palestinian state be ethnically cleansed of Jews is outrageous, and the U.N. must condemn it instead of adopting it.”