Umm Muhammed Umar
In a virtual address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to withdraw his recognition of Israel, based on pre-1967 borders, if it refused to withdraw from the territories Palestinians want for a future state. He has given Israel a year to withdraw. Abbas said, “If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders?”
Al Jazeera reports that Abbas had called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “convene an international peace conference.” He said he was willing “to work throughout the year” to resolve the final status of the states of Israel and Palestine. It reports that he had used terms he seldom employed, due to the so called peace talks, such as “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.
He added that the Palestinians were prepared to approach the ICC regarding “the issue of the legality of the occupation of the land”.
Israel, meanwhile, has dismissed Abbas’s warnings, with Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, saying, “those who truly support peace and negotiations do not threaten delusional ultimatums from the UN platform as he did in his speech”. He said that Abbas was no longer relevant.
According to Al Jazeera, Abbas has been facing fierce criticism from frustrated Palestinians, weary of his authoritarian rule, and his so-called security cooperation with Israel. Protests have also been staged after a critic died whilst in the custody of the PA.