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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the UN

UN General Assembly 2018: Netanyahu speaks moments after scathing criticism from the Palestinian President

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the General Assembly at the United Nations. AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the General Assembly at the United Nations. AFP

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN minutes after the Palestinian President launched a scathing attack on the country and amid confusion over the US's plans for the two nations.

Mr Netanyahu said the 2015 nuclear deal was based on "a fundamental lie," that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons, announcing the existence of what he said was a second nuclear atomic warehouse in Tehran as evidence.

The Israeli Prime Minister accused the EU of appeasing Iran and said his country was incredibly grateful to US President Trump for withdrawing from the nuclear deal.

Mr Netanyahu said Iranian officials removed 15 kilograms of radioactive material from secret atomic facilities, which they spread around Tehran.

Addressing the leaders of Iran, Mr Netanyahu said "Israel knows what you're doing and Israel knows where you're doing it" and that the country will never allow the country to obtain nuclear weapons.

Mr Netanyahu finished his speech without mentioning the prospect of peace or a two-state solution, something Palestinian President Abbas made the core of his address.

Yesterday, Donald Trump endorsed a two-state solution between Palestine and Israel, then saying he had no preference on the nature of the deal hours later.

“I like (a) two-state solution," Mr Trump said at a press conference with Mr Netanyahu. "That's what I think works best. That's my feeling. Now you may have a different feeling. I don't think so. But I think two-state solution works best.”

Later, at a solo press conference, Mr Trump said, "I think probably two-state is more likely, but you know what, if they do a single, if they do a double, I'll be happy.”

The US President also said he would release his plan within two to three months.

"It is a dream of mine to get that done prior to the end of my first term...We are with you, with are with Israel 100 per cent," Mr Trump said at the meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Mr Netanyahu responded in kind, "no one has backed Israel like you do and we appreciate it."

In May, Mr Trump said he would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy to the city, prompting protests from Palestinians.

Since then, every Friday there have been protests on the border of Palestine. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli military in the protests, one Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

The US cut its funding for UNRWA, the Palestinian relief agency, to $60 million from a promised $350 million this year. UNRWA funds essential services for displaced Palestinians, including schools.

Mr Trump also closed the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's office in Washington last month.

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Read more:

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