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Friday, 26 September 2014

Abbas at UNGA: Israel perpetrated genocide in Gaza, we won't forget or forgive

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel on Friday of conducting a "war of genocide" during the 50-day summer conflict in Gaza but stopped short of saying he will pursue war crime charges against Jerusalem at the International Criminal Court...

In his speech at the UN General Assembly, Abbas also said he will seek a UN resolution to set a deadline for Israel to pull out of Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 war. He did not, however, include a three-year deadline as his aides had said he would, evidently due to concerns that the U.S. would veto such a resolution, Palestinian officials told Haaretz. 

"In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people," he said.
"This last war against Gaza was a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world, moment by moment," Abbas added. The devastation unleashed, he said, "is unmatched in modern times."
The recent Gaza war killed 2,100 Palestinians and has weakened Abbas domestically, with his Hamas rivals enjoying a surge of popularity among Palestinians for fighting Israel. Sixty-six soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side.
"In the name of Palestine and its people, I affirm here today: we will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment," Abbas said.
The Palestinian president is under pressure at home to come up with a new political strategy after his repeated but failed attempts to establish a Palestinian state through U.S.-mediated negotiations with Israel.
Abbas called on Israel to end the occupation, with a deadline for this goal.
"Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestine since 1967, but rather seeks its continuation and entrenchment, and rejects the Palestinian state and refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees.
"... There is no meaning or value in negotiations for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war. And, there is no value in negotiations which are not linked to a firm timetable for the implementation of this goal.

"The time has come to end this settlement occupation."

Abbas further called for "a comprehensive, credible" strategy against terrorism - including what he called Israeli  "state terrorism." 
"It is an urgent matter that requires much more than condemnations and declarations of positions, which are of course necessary," he said. "…It requires, in this context and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practices and perpetuation, an abhorrent form of state terrorism and a breeding ground for incitement, tension and hatred."
  • In his speech, Abbas introduced a resolution, to be submitted to the UN Security Council, aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Israeli occupation.
"This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of the previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution, of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative.
"This will be linked to the immediate resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel to demarcate the borders, reach a detailed and comprehensive agreement and draft a peace treaty between them." 
Senior Palestinian officials told Haaretz after the speech that Abbas sought to avoid a confrontation with the U.S. over the resolution, which is why he did not set a specific timeframe, but only demanded that one be set. The decision was evidently made after Abbas met several world leaders at the UN, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
One senior Palestinian official said that the Palestinian delegation was aware of the U.S.' intention to veto any such unilateral move, should it garner a majority at the Security Council. 
The Associated Press contributed to the report.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.617831
26/9/14 

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