Citing Israeli violations, Palestinian leader renounces security, political accords at UN Assembly

30 September 2015

On the day that the Palestinian flag was raised at United Nations Headquarters for the first time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today renounced political and security accords with Israel, saying it must now resume its responsibilities as occupying Power, due to its continual violations of the 20-year-old agreements.

“They leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them,” he announced from the General Assembly podium, referring to the so-called Oslo accords to set up a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with interim terms governing security and economic cooperation.

But at the same time, he held out the prospect of peace if Israel fully respects the accords.

“My hands remain outstretched for the just peace that will guarantee my people's fights, freedom and human dignity. I say to our neighbours, the Israeli people, that peace is in your interest, in our interest, and in the interest of our future generations,” he declared.

“I hope that you will consider the dangerous reality on the ground and look to the future and accept for the Palestinian people what you accept for yourselves. Then, you will find that the achievement of peace will be possible, and you will enjoy security, safety, peace and stability.”

Speaking on the third day of the Assembly’s 70th annual General Debate shortly before the official flag-raising for Palestine as an Observer State, Mr. Abbas cited continual Israeli violations of the accords, which originally set full Palestinian independence for 1999, from non-stop settlement of territory slated for the Palestinian State to deadly attacks by Jewish extremists.

“Is it not time to end the racist, terrorist, colonial settlement of our land, which is destroying the two-State solution,” he said, referring to the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.

“Is it not time to end this injustice? Is it not time to stop this suffering? Is it not time for the racist annexation wall to be dismantled? Is it not time for the humiliating and degrading checkpoints and barriers set up by the Israeli occupying forces in our land to be removed, for the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip to be lifted, and for our people to move in freedom and dignity in their own homeland and outside?”

Voicing deepest gratitude to the countries that voted by a massive majority in favour of the resolution allowing the Palestinian flag to fly at UN Headquarters, he said the day is not far off when the flag of Palestine will be raised in East Jerusalem.

“The policies and practices of the Israeli Government and the positions of its Prime Minister and cabinet members lead to a clear conclusion: it is working extremely hard to destroy the two-State solution that we are seeking on the basis of the resolutions of international legitimacy,” Mr. Abbas declared.

But he again stressed, in a reference to both Muslim and Jewish festivals coinciding at this: “From this rostrum at the United Nations and in this period of religious holidays, I also extend a sincere call to the people of Israel for peace based on justice, security and stability for all.”

Speaking at the flag-raising ceremony, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called today a day of pride and hope for Palestinians around the world and urged renewed efforts to achieve the two-state solution.

“Now is the time to support initiatives which will preserve the two-State solution and create the conditions for a return to meaningful negotiations on the basis of an agreed framework,” he said. “Now is the time to restore confidence by both Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful settlement and, at last, the realization of two states for two peoples.

“I sincerely hope that a successful peace process will soon yield a day when we unfurl the Palestinian flag in its proper place – among the family of nations as a sovereign Member State of the United Nations.”

General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft also stressed the need to implement the two-state solution.

“On this day, we are of course keenly aware of the urgent need for real improvements on the ground and a peaceful settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – one that fulfils the vision of an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” he said.


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