NEWS
23/09/2011 15:01 BST | Updated 23/11/2011 05:12 GMT

Benjamin Netanyahu: 'No State Without Peace'

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that peace between Israelis and Palestinians must be achieved though direct negotiations rather than UN resolutions, as the Palestinians submit a bid to gain their own independent state.

On Friday the Palestinians made the submission to the United Nations to be recognised as an independent state.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly his people deserved "their freedom and independence".

"The time has come for my courageous and proud people, after decades of displacement and colonial occupation and ceaseless suffering, to live like other peoples of the earth, free in a sovereign and independent homeland," he said.

But Netanyahu said that while he wanted peace, the Palestinians should not be granted statehood while the conflict was ongoing.

"Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace," he said. "The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state."

Netanyahu began his speech to the UN by criticising how Israel has historically been treated by the UN, which he said was often a "theatre of the absurd".

"It was here in 1975, that the age old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our an ancient biblical homeland, it was then that this was branded shamefully as racism," he said.

"It was here in 1980 that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn't praised, it was denounced."

He added: "It's here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation."

"Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for my country," he said.

Netanyahu called on Abbas to meet him in the United Nations building to start talks.

"We've just flown thousands of miles to new york. now were in the same city. we're in same building. So lets meet here today. in the UN," he said.