"Peace is not achieved by unilaterally going to the United Nations and not by joining forces with terror group Hamas," Netanyahu's statement said: "Peace shall only be achieved via direct negotiations with Israel."
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"The Palestinian Authority and its leader have consistently evaded direct talks with Israel," the PM's Office said. "Once the PA abandons empty moves such as unilaterally approaching the UN, it will find an Israeli partner for direct peace negotiations."
Meanwhile, a senior Israeli official said that the Palestinians "fear Israel's response" to their statehood bid.
"They know they must not undertake a unilateral move that would hurt them first and foremost," he said. "Israel is unwilling to be blackmailed by their threat to approach the Security Council or the General Assembly."
'Ball in Palestinians' court'The official made it clear that the Palestinians will not be able to extort any concessions from Israel via their UN bid.
"They can forget about it," he said. "There is no chance whatsoever that Israel would agree to talk about borders of about a (settlement) freeze."
Officials in Jerusalem stressed that the Israeli government is willing to embark on direct negotiations, without preconditions, immediately.
"However, they don't really want direct talks," another official said of the Palestinians. "They only want to extort more and more territory from us without giving anything in exchange. This party is over."
"At this time the ball is the Palestinian court, to decide whether they want direct negotiations or prefer to continue their evasions," he said.
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