Image: UN Photo/Cia Pak
New York: President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his appeal for the State of Palestine to become a full-fledged member of the UN, and warned of waning peace prospects with Israel, in his speech to the General Assembly on Friday.
“Palestine, the Observer State in this Organization for 10 years now has proved that it qualifies for full membership. You have all recognized this,” he said, citing contributions that include chairing the G-77 and China developing country coalition.
“We are the exception. We are the only ones in the world on whom double standards are being applied.”
Killings, looting, demolitions
President Abbas began his remarks by outlining how Palestinians have suffered under decades of Israeli occupation.
“Israel is giving total freedom to the army and to the terrorist settlers who are killing the Palestinian people in broad daylight, looting their land and their water, burning and demolishing their homes, compelling them to pay for the demolition, or forcing them to destroy their homes with their own hands, and uproot their trees,” he said, speaking through an interpreter.
He also addressed the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, among other incidents.
The Al Jazeera correspondent was shot in May while on assignment in the West Bank. He said Israel acknowledged that she had been killed by a sniper.
“I dare the United States to prosecute those who have killed this American national. Why? because they are Israelis,” he told world leaders.
Trust ‘unfortunately regressing’
Regarding peace prospects, Mr. Abbas stated that “our trust and the possibility of achieving peace based on justice and international law is unfortunately regressing.”
He said Israel is ignoring international resolutions and undermining agreements and is no longer a partner in the peace process.
“It has and still is, through its current policies, which are premeditated and deliberate, destroying the two-State solution. This proves unequivocally that Israel does not believe in peace. It believes in imposing status quo by force and by aggression.”
He called for the UN Secretary-General to elaborate an international plan to end the occupation in order to achieve peace, security and stability in the region, in line with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.
‘A positive development’
Mr. Abbas noted that during their speeches to the General Assembly, United States President Joseph Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, along with other world leaders, voiced support for the two-State solution
“This is of course, a positive development,” he said, though adding that the “real test to the seriousness and credibility of this stance” will be for Israel to immediately return to the negotiating table.
“The State of Palestine is looking forward to peace,” he said. “Let us make this peace to live in security, stability and prosperity for the benefit of our generations and all the people of the region.”
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