Abbas calls for an international peace conference and gives Israel a year to withdraw

Abbas calls for an international peace conference and gives Israel a year to withdraw
Abbas calls for an international peace conference and gives Israel a year to withdraw

United Nations (United States) (AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for an international peace conference, while giving Israel one year to withdraw from the 1967 territories.

Abbas said in a televised speech on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meetings, “I call on the Secretary-General to call for an international peace conference, in accordance with the approved international references, United Nations resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative and under the auspices of the International Quartet, only and not others,” stressing that the Palestinian side is committed to “working Political dialogue and dialogue are a way to achieve peace.

He added, “And so that our initiative does not remain without a time limit, we say that the Israeli occupation authorities have one year to withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.”

“We are ready to work during this year to demarcate borders and end all final status issues under the auspices of the International Quartet, in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy,” he added.

He also indicated that the authority would turn to the International Court of Justice “to take a decision on the legitimacy of the occupation’s existence on the land of the State of Palestine, and the responsibilities of the United Nations and the countries of the world in this regard.”

Relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have deteriorated considerably in recent years. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ruled from 2009 to 2021, made little effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as peace talks have been suspended since 2014, while Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank expanded during his reign.

In a rare move, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held talks with Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank late last month.

However, a source close to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed at the time that “there is no ongoing peace process with the Palestinians, and it will not happen.”

The Palestinian Authority controls forty percent of the West Bank, while Israel, which controls all entrances to the area, controls the rest of the parts, as well as the settlements established there.

Gantz’s meeting with Abbas came after Bennett’s return from Washington and his meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

Reiterating the United States’ “unwavering” commitment to Israel’s security, Biden said he would discuss with Bennett “ways to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Biden administration supports a two-state solution and has resumed financial aid to the Palestinians.

In his Friday speech, Abbas referred to “our constructive dialogue that is currently taking place with the US administration to restore the Palestinian-American relations, and to put in place steps to ensure the occupying power’s commitment to the signed agreements.”

Bennett, a hard-line nationalist who opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state, once headed a pressure group made up of Jewish settlers.

His government, made up of parties ranging from the far left to the nationalist right, has said it has no intention of engaging in new peace talks with the Palestinians.

© 2021 AFP

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