In what is being viewed as an extremely controversial speech, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “genocide” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Speaking before the UN General Assembly on Friday, Abbas ranted about Israel’s “absolute war crimes” and threatened that he would seek a UN resolution that would terminate Israel’s presence in PA controlled areas.
Abbas told members of the Assembly that 2014 was supposed to mark a new point in Palestinian relations and a year of international solidarity with the Palestinians. However, Abbas blamed Israel for choosing to make it “a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people.”
The Palestinian leader condemned Israel’s actions during the recent 50-day conflict against terrorists in Gaza, saying the resulting “unprecedented” destruction amount to “absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world.”
According to the IDF, Gaza-based terrorists fired some 3,360 rockets into Israel during the conflict and 66 Israeli soldiers and six civilians died during the war. The Hamas Health Ministry claimed that 2,100 Gazans were killed during Operation Protective Edge. However, Israel has proved repeatedly that more than half of those killed were terrorist combatants.
Touching upon collapsed US-led negotiation efforts between Israel and the Palestinians, Abbas stated, “This war came after long, difficult negotiations for more than eight months under the auspices of the United States and the efforts of President Barack Obama and tenacious efforts of his Secretary of State John Kerry.”
“We engaged in this endeavor with open minds, in good faiths and with a positive spirit,” Abbas stated, saying that he received “overwhelming support of the nations of the world.”
While the Palestinians “genuinely respected our commitments and understandings” and believed in the negotiations, Abbas contended, Israel “did not miss the opportunity to undermine the chance for peace” and “once again failed the test of peace.”
Calling for the immediate resumption of peace talks, Abbas pessimistically stated that “it is impossible” to return to any negotiations that do not seek to establish a Palestinian state inside the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, making clear that he would no longer abide by Washington’s expectations.
“Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestinian 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,” Abbas said.
Abbas continued to accuse Israel, “the colonial occupying Power,” of supporting “isolated ghettos for Palestinians” as well as upholding what he called “racist” and apartheid policies.
“Israel has confirmed during the negotiations that it rejects making peace with its victims, the Palestinians people. The time has come to end this settlement occupation,” he declared.
Tying in a hot topic at this year’s General Assembly, Abbas went so far as to say that the international world’s fight against ISIS should also be a fight against “bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country.”
Immediately following Abbas’s speech, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement that Abbas showed “he doesn’t want and cannot be a partner for a logical diplomatic resolution.”
“It’s no coincidence that he joined a government with Hamas,” Liberman said, referring to the Fatah-Hamas unity government. “Abbas complements Hamas when he deals with diplomatic terrorism and slanders Israel with false accusations.”
“As long as he’s chairman of the Palestinian Authority he will continue the conflict. He is the continuation of Arafat through different means,” he said.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon asserted that Abbas’s speech “proved for the umpteenth time that he is not a leader who wants peace and strives to advance the lives of his people, but a person who is propagating lies, is engaged in incitement and spreads hate speech against Israel.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is scheduled to speak before the Assembly on Monday, vowed to “repel the slanders and lies spewed” against the State of Israel by Abbas.
Before departing to the US, Netanyahu stated, “In my address to the UN General Assembly, I will refute all of the lies being directed at us and I will tell the truth about our state and about the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world.”
He also expressed his outrage over Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech, which Netanyahu said “deceived” the international community into believing that easing sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program would mark “the beginning of a path toward collaboration and cooperation.”
“After the deceitful speech of the Iranian president and Abbas’s inciting words, I will tell the truth of the citizens of Israel to the whole world,” Netanyahu stated.