The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Monday denounced Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, accusing Netanyahu of “blatantly manipulating” the facts when he compared Hamas with the Islamic State and Iran.
“Netanyahu’s speech at the UN was a blatant manipulation of facts and attempted at misleading the audience through a combination of hate language, slander and argument of obfuscation,” PLO executive member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement quoted by AFP.
Netanyahu in his speech denied accusations of Israeli war crimes during its July-August offensive on Gaza, pointing out that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was jointly culpable with Hamas, which fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
“Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings to leave,” Netanyahu said.
“I say to president Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for,’ he said.
The Islamic State jihadists, and Hamas, Netanyahu added, “share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.”
In his own speech at the General Assembly this past Friday, Abbas accused Israel of “genocide” and “war crimes”, prompting a condemnation from U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said the speech “included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject.”