Abbas: Palestine is an occupied state
Palestinian president says UN recognition will require international community to hold Israel accountable for infractions, calls for renewed talks with Jewish state.
As the Palestinians celebrated the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status, President Mahmoud Abbas said that the resolution will require the world hold Israel accountable for the infractions it has committed since 1967.
The Palestinian leader told reporters in New York on Friday evening that the General Assembly’s decision has turned “Palestine into a state under an occupation, and most of the world’s countries think so as well, voiding the Israeli claim that this is a disputed territory.”
Abbas noted that the pressure that he faced to halt the pursuit of the nonmember state status might now translate into financial sanctions by various countries.
“The Arab states promised to provide us with a financial safety net that will compensate us without delay,” he added.
Call for renewed talks
He called for the resumption of the peace talks with Israel, but also chided the Jewish state’s latest settlement construction plans.
“I’ve said a thousand times that we want to resume negotiations and we are ready to do it,” Abbas told the Palestinian reporters.
“We are not setting any conditions but there are at least 15 UN resolutions which consider settlement activity as illegal and an obstacle to peace which must be removed,” he said. “Why don’t (the Israelis) stop settlement?”
He stipulated that if Israel withdraws to the 1967 lines, allows the Palestinians to establish a state with Jerusalem as its capital and offers a fair solution to the refugee problem, the PA will guarantee that 57 Arab states will recognize Israel and solve its “isolation problem.”
Abbas said that the reconciliation of the Palestinian factions now tops his agenda, stressing that the step depends on Hamas. The Palestinian president is expected to return to Ramallah on Sunday.
On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly backed a resolution recognizing Palestine within the 1967 borders as a nonmember observer state. Israel lashed out in response by approving plans to build the 3,000 settler homes beyond the Green Line.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, commented on the Israeli decision on Friday, saying that “this declaration is a slap in the face of the entire world which chose to vote in favor of the Palestinian state.”
Abu Rudeineh noted that the decision was illegal, adding that “this action will leave Israel even more isolated, after the entire world expressed its objection to the occupation yesterday.”