JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to New York on Sunday, vowing to expose “slander and lies” laid out by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in his UN speech.
In a Friday address to the UN General Assembly, Abbas accused Israel of carrying out a “genocidal crime” in its 50-day war against Gaza militants in which nearly 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed.
“In my speech to the General Assembly, I will refute the lies that are being told about us and I will tell the truth about our state and the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world,” Netanyahu said on the tarmac at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv before boarding the plane.
Earlier, an official from Netanyahu’s office called the Palestinian leader’s remarks “an inciteful hate speech full of lies,” with Netanyahu pledging to refute it along with claims laid out in the UN speech of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“After the Iranian president’s deceptive speech and Abu Mazen’s inciteful speech, I will tell the truth on behalf of Israel’s citizens to the entire world,” he said in a statement late Saturday, using Abbas’s nickname.
“In my UN General Assembly speech and in all of my meetings I will represent the citizens of Israel and will – on their behalf – refute the slander and lies directed at our country,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu will deliver his speech to the General Assembly on Monday, then will travel to Washington to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday.