Abbas: Israel ‘destroying the two-state solution’

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Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech regarding the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), at the Palestinian Authority headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 5, 2020. Photo by Flash90

by Elad Benari (A7) Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday accused Israel of “destroying the two-state solution”.

Addressing the UN General Assembly via video link and quoted by Reuters, Abbas urged the international community to act to save the two-state formula.

The PA chairman charged that Israel was “destroying the prospect of a political settlement based on the two-state solution” through the construction of homes in Judea and Samaria.

“If the Israeli occupation authorities continue to entrench the reality of one apartheid state as is happening today, our Palestinian people and the entire world will not tolerate such a situation,” Abbas declared.

“Circumstances on the ground will inevitably impose equal and full political rights for all on the land of historical Palestine, within one state. In all cases, Israel has to choose,” Abbas added, according to Reuters.

The PA chairman also threatened to rescind the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel if it does not withdraw from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem within a year.

“If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders? Why maintain this recognition?” Abbas said.

Abbas also asserted that the PA “remained committed to all of its elements to this day,” while claiming that “Israel has not honored its obligations under the signed agreements and has evaded participating in peace initiatives and instead pursued its expansionist, colonial enterprise, destroying the prospect of a political settlement based on the two-state solution.”

He thanked the international community for their financial support of the Palestinian people but said that they had to “take tangible steps to revive hope and end the Israeli occupation of our land,” after stating that Israel is “practicing apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians.

Before the speech, aides to Abbas said he would threaten to dismantle the PA unless a Palestinian state is established.

Abbas has repeatedly pushed for an international conference for peace in the Middle East, a move aimed at bypassing the US efforts to resume talks.

Past efforts under the Obama administration to broker a peace agreement failed in 2014 when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.