Photo: AFP
PA President Abbas
Photo: AFP

Abbas tells UNGA 'Jerusalem is not for sale'

Speaking before PM Netanyahu at the annual UN gathering, PA President calls on Trump to rescind decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Thursday that Jerusalem "is not for sale" while urging US President Donald Trump to rescind his decisions recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and cutting aid to the Palestinians, which he said had undermined the two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.



The aging Palestinian leader did not hold back on the expected broadside against Israel, which he accused of continuing a “colonial occupation” continues to “suffocate us."


He also said that Israel's recent passage of the Nation-State Law will lead to an apartheid state, adding that it discriminates against the country’s non-Jewish population


Abbas said Palestinians would never reject negotiation, but that "it's really ironic that the American administration still talks about what they talk call the 'deal of the century.'"


Abbas speaks during UNGA    (צילום: UN Web TV)

Abbas speaks during UNGA   (צילום: UN Web TV)


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"What is left for this administration to give to the Palestinian people?" he asked. "What is left as a political solution?


"We are not redundant. Why are we treated as redundant people who should be gotten rid of?" Abbas asked.


Abbas said the United States could no longer be the sole mediator.


"The US acts as a mediator; however now we view the US with new eyes. The US cannot be a mediator single-handedly," Abbas said.


Trump's Jerusalem decision and cutting of aid to the UN's main Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, he said, shows that his adminsitration has "reneged on all previous US commitments, and has undermined the two-state solution."


"I renew my call to President Trump to rescind his decisions and decrees regarding Jerusalem, refugees and settlements," he said.


PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: AP)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: AP)


Abbas also called upon the world to recognize a state of Palestine.


"I call upon the countries of the world that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine to do so immediately. There is no escape from the eventual recognition. It will not prevent us from returning to the negotiating table, it will only encourage us to do so," he said.


Turning to the crumbled reconciliation agreement between his Fatah faction and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, Abbas said that the PA would not take responsibility for the coastal enclave, which has engaged in Israel in almost daily violent border skirmishes in recent months.


Abbas said he would relinquish all responsibility for the strip "if Hamas does not accept the implementation of the reconciliation agreement with Fatah."


Despite his criticism of the US administration, Trump said on Wednesday that he believes that the two-state solution “works best”, in what was a first public endorsement of the idea since entering the White House.


PA President Abbas (Photo: AFP)
PA President Abbas (Photo: AFP)


The remarks, which were made during a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, shed light on the possible basis of a long-awaited peace initiative to be launched by the US administration between Israel and the Palestinians.


However, shortly after Trump appeared to backtrack on his remarks once again, telling journalists in a seapate press conference that he liked the idea of a two-state or one-state solution as long as the Palestinians and Israelis could agree.


Abbas also rebuffed claims by Israeli leaders that he has repeatedly refused to renew peace negotiations, saying that he is “sticking to peace and the two-state solution."


“We are not against negotiations. Not once did I refuse offer to return to the negotiating table. I have agreed to every request to sit with Prime Minister Netanyahu for talks," he said.


According to Abbas, it was Netanyahu who declined an invitation by Russia to enter into negotiations.


Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 09.27.18, 20:01
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