President Shimon Peres met with the deputy UN secretary-general, Asha-Rose Migiro, Sunday and told her the UN was misleading the Palestinians by allowing them to believe that a Palestinian state could be declared without first providing for Israel's security needs.
During the meeting, which was held at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem, Peres and Migiro discussed Palestinian-Israeli relations, the peace process, and the upcoming flotilla to the Gaza Strip.
"Israel supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state at Israel's side," Peres said, but the only way to establish such a state is through direct negotiations. He added that the gaps between the two sides aren’t as large as they seem.
Regarding the upcoming flotilla, Peres defended Israel's stance and said that international law allows states to prevent the docking of ships that have not been checked and that are suspected of carrying weapons, even if they do not enter the state's territorial waters.
"Despite the Gaza withdrawal, the Strip under Hamas rule has become a nest of terror and weaponry," Peres told the deputy UN chief. With a simple decision by Hamas leaders to adopt the Quartet's principles, Gaza could become an affluent and open city – a city of peace, he added.
Migiro, for her part, said the UN was committed to the two-state solution. She also commended the state for its humanitarian missions, such as the one sent to Haiti. She added that the UN planned to expand its Holocaust Remembrance Day activities around the world, in order to spread the lessons gleaned from World War II.
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