MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the United Nations for turning a blind eye to "Palestinian hate speech" despite the organization's commitment to preserve peace and stand up for human rights.
"The UN is mandated to pursue peace, but it allows Palestinian hate speech to flourish in its institutions," Netanyahu said at a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Jerusalem, as quoted by the prime minister's press service.
Netanyahu noted that Israel had a "troubled relationship" with the UN and expressed hope that Guterres' visit would allow showing that Israel is a country of "robust democracy."
The tensions between the United Nations and Israel started in January when Israel decreased annual payments to the organization by $6 million in response to the December 2016 UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Israel continued to cut the payments in March and May, following the UN resolutions that accused Tel Aviv of "human rights violations in the occupied Syrian Golan" and the West Bank and labeled Israel as an occupant country of Jerusalem.
Relations between Israel and Palestine have been tense for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for independent statehood in the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity, and has continued to build settlements within the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.