Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, embraces the state flag before it was raised for the first time during a ceremony at the UN.
Israel was continuously violating the transitional peace deal and could no longer expect the Palestinians to be the only ones to abide by it, he said in New York.
A recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in the West Bank and Gaza Strip showed that two-thirds want Mr. Abbas to resign. But the result is to damage his credibility in the eyes of the global community as a leader who can deliver a final peace accord. But these negotiations collapsed in April 2014.
Abbas referred to “Palestine” as a “state under occupation”.
Wednesday’s speech and the raising of the flag may well generate yet another political bump for Abbas, but in the absence of an effective strategy to address the radical power imbalance and create genuine consequences for Israel-for example, through a United Nations Security Council resolution on settlements, as was suggested last week in Washington by Palestinian Ambassador at Large Husam Zomlot-it will be momentary.
“We declare that as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us…”
It is time Abbas and the Palestinians are told loudly and clearly: with the desire for sovereignty comes responsibility and accountability! “The continuation of status quo is unsustainable”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement calling on Abbas to “act responsibly” and answer his proposal for direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions. Terrorist attacks by Palestinian militant groups during the Second Intifada dramatically weakened the Israeli peace camp.
Abbas has conditioned a return to peace talks on a settlement freeze.
Such false rumours, Netanyahu said, encouraged Muslim youths to hurl rocks and firecrackers on the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary, to which police have responded with stun grenades and arrests.
Just about to start my army service with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), I was watching the television screens in disbelief, as what was impossible just the day before, was happening before our very eyes: Israeli and Palestinian leaders were standing on the White House Lawn, shaking hands and smiling.
“Unfortunately, President Abbas said yesterday that he is not prepared to do this”, he said Thursday.
“The Quartet Envoys will engage directly with the parties in order to explore concrete actions both sides can take to demonstrate their genuine commitment to pursuing a two-state solution, including encouraging efforts to agree on significant steps, consistent with prior agreements, that benefit Israelis and Palestinians”, the statement added.
“But we owe it to our peoples to try. I don’t think that things will be done in 24 hours”.
In his annual speech he said it was unconscionable that the question of Palestinian statehood remained unresolved.