TEL AVIV – Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon on Tuesday slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for “running away” from negotiations after the Palestinian leader abruptly left the room following his Security Council speech. The Israeli envoy also blasted him for giving away half the Palestinian Authority’s foreign aid to terrorists and preaching one message in English and the opposite in Arabic.
“[The Palestinians] need leadership that will speak to Israel and not run away from dialogue,” Danon said as Abbas walked out of the UN Security Council hall in an apparent boycott of the Israeli envoy’s speech.
“You just addressed the members of the Security Council and spoke of your commitments to peace. This is what you often do when speaking to international forums,” Danon said. “But when you address your people, you convey a very different message.”
Danon also lambasted the PA’s pay-for-slay scheme.
“Mr. Abbas, your incitement does not end with rhetoric,” he continued. “You have made it official Palestinian policy to sponsor terrorism. In 2017, you spent $345 million paying terrorists for killing innocent Israelis. That is 50% of the total foreign aid donated to the PA. This is money you could have spent building 40 hospitals. This is money you could have used to build over 170 schools – every single year.”
“Three times a day Jews in Israel and all over the world turn to Jerusalem and pray for peace. We have no doubt that the day will come when the Palestinian people will also be blessed with leadership that shares these noble aspirations,” he said.
Danon’s remarks came after Abbas called for an international conference later this year under the supervision of the UN. In doing so, Abbas, who in December declared that the U.S. could no longer be considered an impartial broker to Israeli-Palestinian talks after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, continued his write-off of Washington.
“To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference,” the PA president said.
“The administration has taken Jerusalem off the table,” Abbas added, quoting the term Trump used last month.
He also called on UN members who have not done so to formally recognize a Palestinian state.
Haley, who was joined at the UN by Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and special Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt, addressed Abbas directly in her remarks even though the PA president left the chamber immediately after his speech.
“Our negotiators are sitting right behind me, ready to talk,” Haley said. “But we will not chase after you. The choice, Mr. President, is yours.”
She continued by saying that Abbas’ constant lamentations “will get the Palestinian people exactly nowhere.”
Rather, she said, Abbas should channel his anger towards making a better life for his people.
She also addressed the claim made by senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat that the Trump administration is orchestrating a “coup” to overthrow Abbas. Erekat previously told Haley to “shut up.”
“Nikki Haley needs to shut up and realize that the Palestinian leadership is not the problem,” the top Palestinian diplomat said.
“She called for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president,” Erekat continued, calling the UN envoy “impudent.”
Haley told the Security Council on Tuesday, “I will not shut up. Rather, I will respectfully speak some hard truths.”