Israel ‘Has a Year to Withdraw From All Palestinian Territories,’ Abbas Says at UNGA
i24 News – Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly via video link on Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas posed an ultimatum before Israel, saying it had “one year to withdraw from all the Palestinian territories.”
Failing that, he said, the Authority will turn to the International Court of Justice.
In a typically combative speech, Abbas accused Israel of all but destroying the two-state solution with actions he said could lead Palestinians to demand equal rights within one binational state comprising Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
The 85-year-old urged the international community to act to save the two-state formula that for decades has been the bedrock of diplomacy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“If the Israeli occupation authorities continue to entrench the reality of one apartheid state as is happening today, our Palestinian people and the entire world will not tolerate such a situation,” Abbas said, reiterating an accusation Israel rejects.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the US and the UN, responded to Abbas’ speech on Friday afternoon, arguing it showed that the Palestinian leader was “no longer relevant.”
“It is no coincidence that 80% of Palestinians want him to leave his position,” Erdan commented. “He once offered to sue the United Kingdom over the Balfour Declaration. Today, he wants to return to the UN Partition Plan. But most important of all, he lied about the Palestinians refusal to make peace. Those who truly support peace and negotiations do not threaten delusional ultimatums from the UN platform as he did in his speech.”