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Israel wants peace, Netanyahu tells UN

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on Friday that his country desired peace with the Palestinians, but this could only be achieved through talks, not a UN resolution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on Friday that his country desired peace with the Palestinians, but this could only be achieved through talks, not a UN resolution.

Netanyahu was speaking after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the General Assembly to ask it to recognize a Palestinian state. Abbas filed a request with the UN for full membership earlier in the day.

"As Israel's prime minister I didn't come here for applause. I came here to speak the truth," he said at the start of his address.

“The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state,” he told the hall.

Netanyahu complained to the hall that Israel was often pressured to make concessions.

"These people say to me constantly: just make a sweeping offer and everything will work out,” he said, adding that the threat of “militant Islam” made it impossible to do so.

"When we left Gaza ... the moderates were devoured by the radicals,” he said.

But if peace can be achieved through talks with the Palestinians, he said, "Israel will not be the last state to welcome a Palestinian state into the United Nations. We will be the first."

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