Concluding his speech, he stated that he hopes the international community will assume responsibility for ending Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories in 2017. “There is a collective responsibility upon you to ensure that 2017 is the year of ending the occupation. Will you uphold this responsibility? It is my hope,” he said.
Speaking during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, Abbas said: “The settlements are illegal in every aspect and any manifestation.
Therefore, we will continue to exert all efforts for a Security Council resolution on the settlements and the terror of the settlers.” “We hope no one will cast a veto,” said Abbas as he hinted at the United States, which vetoed a resolution condemning settlements in 2011. Abbas added that the Palestinian leadership remains committed to all signed agreements with Israel, including the Oslo Accords, but said that the onus is on Israel “to recognize the state of Palestine.”
“We remain committed to the agreements reached with Israel since 1993. However, Israel must reciprocate this commitment and must act forthwith to resolve all of the final-status issues,” he said.
Abbas also lashed out at Israel for undertaking hostile action against Islamic and Christian holy sites in Occupied Jerusalem. “Israel continues to illegally alter the identity and status of occupied east Jerusalem, and to commit aggressions and provocations against our Christian and Muslim holy sites, especially the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he stated.
“The continuation of the Israeli aggressions against our Muslim and Christian holy sites is playing with fire.” Moreover, Abbas asked Israel to recognize the Nakba, in reference to the tragedy of the Palestinian people following the colonization, by Israel, of Palestine. “Realization of a historic reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples requires that Israel acknowledge its responsibility for the Nakba inflicted on our people to this very day,” Abbas said, suggesting that such a recognition “will open a new era of coexistence, and will serve to build bridges rather than walls.”