The United States and Tel Aviv strongly denounced the Friday speech of President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN General Assembly calling for ending the ongoing Israeli occupation and violations, dubbing it as “counterproductive,’ a “unilateral move” and “provocative.”During his speech, Abbas called for a resolution to ensure Israel’s complete withdrawal of the occupied territories, illegally captured by Israel in 1967, and establishing an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The U.S. tried to prevent Abbas from addressing the General Assembly with a last attempt, on Thursday, during a meeting between Abbas and Secretary of State John Kerry, in which Kerry warned Abbas that “the move is unilateral and does not help in rebuilding trust”.
Following Abbas’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Washington said the speech was “provocative’.
Jennifer Psaki, spokesperson for the United States Department of State, said the statements of Abbas were “very disappointing’, “provocative” and that such statements “come against all efforts to rebuild trust between Israel and the Palestinians, and creating a positive atmosphere for restarting political talks”.
On its part, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu said that the speech was “filled with lies,’ and that it “promotes hatred,’ adding that “such statements are made by a man who is not seeking peace.”
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the extremist “Israel Our Home” party, described Abbas’s speech a “political terrorism,’ adding that “the conflict will never be resolved as long as Abbas is the head of the Palestinian Authority”.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Abbas “is not a leader who seeks peace, but a person who lies and incites violence”.
“Abbas is not a man of peace; he is not interested in peace with Israel. He is not a partner in peace,” Ya’alon said.
Israeli Minister of Communications, Gild Erdan of the Likud Party, said Abbas “managed to prove his only skill is incitement and lies,’ and accused him of “denying the holocaust in the past’ and “accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing now”.
Israel Minister of the Economy, head of the extremist “Jewish Home Party” Naftali Bennett claimed ‘Abbas always has a place in his heart for murderers, and Israel’s enemies”, adding that establishing a Palestinian State “West of the River Jordan is not an option”.
Yitzhak Hertzog of the Labor Party also described the statements of Abbas as “lies, disappointing but not surprising”, yet he said the Israel needs to deal with a Palestinian Authority in Gaza, not with what he called a “Hamas army’, therefore “it needs to continue its security coordination with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.
During his speech, Abbas said that Tel Aviv committed War Crimes and Ethnic Cleansing in its latest aggression on the civilians of the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip.
Abbas said Israel killed at least 2140 Palestinians during its latest onslaught on Gaza — most of them civilians, including infants, children, women and elderly.
He also said that the time has come to end the colonial occupation of Palestine, adding that “there is an occupation that must be ended, a nation that must achieve its liberation; the time has come for establishing the independence of the State of Palestine”.
“This latest war was a series of organized war crimes committed and broadcast all over the world, minute by minute, everybody saw the magnitude of this crime,” the president said. “It is illogical for some to support Israel’s ‘right to self-defense’ without even noticing the thousands of Palestinian victims.”
Abbas did not mention whether or not the Palestinians intend to bring charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court for its crimes against the civilian population in Gaza, and its ongoing violations in the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
He demanded a resolution that would end the Israeli occupation, and implementing the two-state solution with a “just solution” to the issue of the Palestinian refugees, based on resolution number 194 (Adopted by the General Assembly on December 11, 1948), and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 offering full normalization and peace with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from the occupied territories.
In 2012, Palestine managed to garner a non-member observer state status at the United Nations, an issue which enabled the Palestinians to join several UN organizations and treaties, and granted them access to the International Criminal Court.
However, the Palestinian leadership does not currently seem to be planning to head to the ICC, while Abbas is demanding ending the deadly siege on Gaza, and ending the Israeli violations.
Abbas stressed that a clear resolution by the General Assembly regarding the end of the occupation would allow the immediate resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the demarcation of borders and reaching a comprehensive, detailed peace agreement.
Abbas’ UN Speech: Return to Negotiations with Israel Impossible