Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, during a speech at the United Nations’ 69th annual General Debate, on Friday, that a return to direct negotiations was impossible and accused Israel of committing genocide. The following day, according to Ma’an News Agency, Mr. Abbas said that his speech would ‘unveil a new way forward for the Palestinian cause’, and slammed Israel for having predetermined the result of the negotiations process so far.

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Abbas told the United Nations that ‘the hour of independence for Palestine has arrived,’ adding: ‘There is an occupation that must end now. There is a people that must be freed immediately.

‘The hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived.’

He also said that Palestinians ‘would not be making concessions at the expense of (their) rights,’ stressing their desire for an end to the Israeli occupation and the achievement of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.

Additionally, President Abbas accused Israel of waging a ‘war of genocide’ in Gaza and vowed to seek war crimes prosecutions.

‘We will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment,’ Abbas said in his speech to the UN General Assembly.

‘The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestinian people is at best isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands,’ Abbas said, warning that ‘At worst it will be a most abhorrent form of apartheid.’

Furthermore, Abbas said that a resolution backed by Arab nations would be presented to the UN Security Council, in order to re-launch talks with a view to reaching a final settlement with Israel on the two-state solution.

According to Ma’an, it remained unlikely that such a resolution would garner support within the 15-member council, notably from the United States, which has repeatedly vetoed resolutions seen as undermining Israeli power, and has been fully complicit in the country’s continued violations against the Palestinian people and their property.

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The US State Department reacted negatively, on Friday night, to President Abbas’ speech at the United Nations, calling it ‘provocative’ and saying that it would undermine peace efforts, according to AFP.

‘President Abbas’ speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject,’ said spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

‘Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties,’ she said.

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President Abbas’ full speech to the UN General Assembly can be read, in English, here: