The United Nations’ chief is “encouraging terror,” according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It comes after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is soon to step down, condemned the recent stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians but said it was natural for oppressed peoples to react to occupation.
Mr Ban told the Security Council the attacks were due to a “profound sense of alienation and despair” among Palestinians. “Frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.”
He added: “As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”
Ban condemned the attacks against Israelis but said Israeli settlement-building was at odds with its stated commitment to a Palestinian state.
“The comments of the UN secretary general encourage terror,” Netanyahu said in an angry response. “There is no justification for terror. The Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state, they want to destroy a state.”
Ronald S Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, called the UN chief’s comments a “dangerous justification of terrorism”.
“It is extremely worrying and shocking that the leader of the international community has chosen to excuse the inexcusable.”
As world Jewish leaders lined up to attack Ban, Netanyahu repeated his assertion that the United Nations had lost its moral legitimacy, on the same day that his government approved more than 150 new settlements.