P.A. Denounces Israeli 'West Bank' Video

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed a YouTube presentation on Judea and Samaria -- the "West Bank" -- narrated by Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

"With this video, the Israeli government has left no doubt on its pro-conflict agenda," Erekat told the P.A.'s Ma'an News Agency.

"An official representing the State of Israel presents a cynical and falsified account of history and international law," Erekat said, claiming the video "openly expresses hostility toward the Palestinian people."

The chief negotiator concluded his remarks by calling on the international community to "invest in peace and support Palestine's admission to the United Nations."

More than 100,000 people have viewed "The Truth about the West Bank," jointly produced by the Israeli Foreign Ministry and StandWithUs, an international non-profit organization dedicated to countering anti-Israel bias.

In the video, which can be viewed here, Ayalon extended an offer to P.A. officials to debate the issues before September, when Palestinian Arabs plan to present their case for unilateral statehood at the United Nations.

"I challenge any of the Palestinian Authority political leadership to an open debate on all the issues ahead of September," he said.

Ayalon said it's time for Israel to "talk about the facts, rights, history and international law, which are little known but give a dramatically different viewpoint to what is currently accepted."

One of several inaccuracies in Erekat's press release was his statement that Israel's membership in the United Nations was based on U.N. Resolution 181.

"This false claim shows that Erekat misconstrues international law and its system, proving exactly how misguided the Palestinian attempt to have their unilaterally declared state recognized at the United Nations really is," Ayalon said. 

"Israel was admitted as a full United Nations member in 1949 by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273, after a recommendation by the Security Council because it met the criteria of statehood and signed armistice agreements with our neighbors, something the Palestinians should bear in mind before they further their confrontational and damaging plan toward September," he said.

"For too long the Palestinian narrative of international law and rights has gone unchallenged, and this over-the-top reaction to a public diplomacy video proves they are acting like spoiled children who have had their way for too long," he said.

"They are unable to challenge a single fact in the video and have completely avoided a legitimate and honest discussion on the issues," Ayalon said.

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IMRA (Independent Media Review and Analysis) contributed to this report.

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