President Mahmoud Abbas said today that Israel, the occupying Power, has one year to withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, and argued that without this condition being met, the Palestinian recognition of Israel on the 1967 borders might be questionable.
President Abbas’s statement was made in a pre-recorded speech that was aired before the UN General Assembly’s 76th session in New York.
“This is a moment of truth with the occupying Power. We are at a crossroads. We have had enough. This situation cannot continue and our people cannot endure it any longer,” the President told the UNGA.
“We are ready to work throughout this year on the delineation of borders and solving all final status issues under the auspices of the international Quartet and in accordance with United Nations resolutions. If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders? Why maintain this recognition?”
He continued, “Our people will not surrender to the reality of occupation and its illegal policies and practices. They will pursue their just struggle to fulfill their right to self-determination, and options are available, including returning to a solution based on the partition plan of resolution 181 (II) adopted in 1947 which gives the State of Palestine 44% of the land, double the space provided for on the 1967 borders.”
President Abbas affirmed that the Palestinians “will go to the International Court of Justice as the supreme international judicial body, on the issue of the legality of the occupation of the land of the Palestinian state.”
“We have extended our hands time and time again for peace and still we cannot find a partner in Israel that believes in and accepts the two-state solution,” added the President.
President Abbas warned the global community that “undermining the two-State solution based on international law and UN resolutions will open the way for other alternatives imposed on us by the situation on the ground as a result of the continuation of the Israeli occupation of our State.”
With this year marking the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, the President said: “More than half the Palestinian people were uprooted from their land and deprived of their property in that time. Myself, my family, and many others still possess the deeds to our land. These deeds are registered as part of the United Nations’ records.”
“United Nations bodies regarding a solution for the Question of Palestine have until now not been upheld and implemented, resulting in a failure to hold Israel accountable and sanction it for its violations of international law, allowing Israel, which claims to be a democratic state, to act as a State above the law,” added the President.
He pledged to continue striving to free all the Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli detention. “I salute here the prisoners’ heroic stand. If the occupation ends, there will no longer be a prisoners’ issue.”
“I reiterate yet again that the Palestinian people will defend their existence and identity and will not kneel or surrender, they will not leave and will remain on their land defending it, defending their fate, and pursuing their great journey towards ending the occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and its capital East Jerusalem.”
The President affirmed his commitment to achieving “the unity of our people and land and to holding legislative and presidential elections and to the Palestinian National Council as soon as holding such elections in Jerusalem is guaranteed as per signed agreements.”