Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) reiterated on Thursday, September 26, that if Israel annexes any part of the occupied West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, then all signed agreements between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel will be terminated.
A week before the September 17 elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, if reelected, he will extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Speaking to the press on September 10, Netanyahu also said that the Trump administration’s peace plan, which he said would be released days after the election, will provide an “historic opportunity” for annexing the West Bank and other areas.
President Abbas, speaking before the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Thursday, September 26, declared: “We entirely and completely reject this illegal plan. Our response, if any Israeli government proceeds with this plan, is that all signed agreements with the government of the occupation and any obligations therein will be terminated.” The Palestinian president urged the international community to uphold its responsibilities to bring an end to the aggression and arrogance of the far-right Israeli government.
Abu Mazen told the delegates gathered that he had hoped to be able to come to this session of the USGA and proclaim the end of the Israeli occupation. “But, regrettably, I stand before you today bearing the same miseries and pain that have been endured for so long by my people, who, despite all that they have suffered of injustice, oppression and occupation – still hold on to the hope of achieving their freedom and independence, as all other nations of the world.”
President Abbas criticized the United States for siding with the Israeli occupation while denying Palestinian rights, stressing that he will no longer accept any American mediation due to its biased policies. He called for holding an international peace conference, indicating that the era of a single – the US – being the sole mediator in the Middle East peace process is over.
“What is unfortunate and shocking is that the US administration – a permanent member of the Security Council that is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security and upholds UN resolutions – is supporting the Israeli aggression against us, reneging on its international political, legal and moral obligations. The US administration has undertaken extremely aggressive and unlawful measures, declaring Jerusalem as the so-called ‘capital of Israel’ and moving its embassy there, in blatant provocation to the sensitivities of hundreds of millions of Muslims and Christians, for whom Jerusalem is a central part of their religious faith.” Jerusalem will remain the eternal capital of Palestine regardless of any such schemes or actions,” Abbas said.
Abbas further elaborated the complicity of the United States in Israel’s continued occupation saying, in addition to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving its embassy there, “The US administration did not stop there, but also decided to close the representation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, and some its officials have claimed that the Israeli settlements on our occupied territory are ‘legitimate.’ Moreover, it immorally and inhumanely terminated all of its contributions to UNRWA. Then, it somehow speaks of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, and peddles deceptive and illusive economic solutions, after it destroyed by its policies and measures all possibilities to achieve peace. This US policy has emboldened the government of the Israeli occupation to renege all signed agreements with us and its commitments towards peace, depriving the peace process of any credibility, pushing large segments of the Palestinian people to lose hope in the possibility of long-awaited peace, and jeopardizing the two-state solution.”
“This has led many to seriously question: if the two-state solution has become impossible because of Israel’s policies, then why don’t we pursue a one-state solution where all citizens can be fairly treated and are equal in rights and duties? Here, I must ask you: How can I answer these questions raised by the people? How can one fulfill reciprocal commitments that the other side is not abiding by? Moreover, despite all of this, I remain committed to the two-state solution,” said Abbas.