Abbas: Palestine No Longer Bound by Agreements with Israel

President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, September 30,  that the Palestinian Authority will not remain committed to agreements with Israel, referring to the Oslo Accords of 1993, while violations take place on a daily basis.

Abbas told the General Assembly that Israel’s refusal to commit to past agreements and release Palestinian prisoners, and continued Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, were destroying the possibility of a Palestinian state.

“We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding.”

President Mahmoud Abbas addresses UN General Assembly, September 30, 2015. (Photo: AP)

President Mahmoud Abbas addresses UN General Assembly, September 30, 2015. (Photo: AP)

The Central Council meeting had called for an end to security coordination with Israel as long as it continued to violate signed agreements.  Despite the call, security coordination with Israel has remained unchanged.

Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership will implement the declaration by all “peaceful and legal means.”

“Either the Palestinian National Authority will be the conduit of the Palestinian people from occupation to independence, or Israel, the occupying power, must bear all of its responsibilities,” he said.

Abbas said Palestinian patience “has come to an end” and described the current situation as “unsustainable.”

The president said it was “unconscionable” that the question of Palestinian self-determination has still not been resolved, asking: “Is it not time for the longest occupation in history, suffocating our people, to come to an end?”

“Palestine, which is an observer state in the United Nations, deserves full recognition and full membership,” he said.

Abbas appealed to “those countries that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine yet, to do so.”

Clashes in recent weeks between Israeli police and Palestinians at the sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem have raised tensions and prompted Abbas to warn of the risk of a third intifada, or uprising.

“I call on the Israeli government to cease its use of brutal force… particularly its actions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Abbas told the Assembly.

“Such actions will convert the conflict from a political one to a religious one, thus creating a explosive situation in Jerusalem and the remaining Palestinian occupied territory.”

Abbas delivered his address ahead of a ceremony to raise the Palestinian flag at the world body for the first time, alongside those of the UN’s 193 member states.

The General Assembly voted September 10 to allow the flags of Palestine and the Vatican — both have observer status — to be raised at the United Nations.

The resolution was backed by 119 countries, with 45 abstentions and eight votes against, including Australia, Israel and the United States.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said in a statement that Mr. Abbas’s speech was “deceitful and encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East.”