NEW YORK (AFP): Israel is deliberately impeding progress toward a two-state solution and can no longer be considered a reliable partner in the peace process, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas told the United Nations on Friday.
Repeating grievances against Israel’s government and security forces, Abbas said the Jewish state has acted with “total impunity” against people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and that Palestinians’ trust in the prospects for peace is “regressing.”
Israel “is, through its premeditated and deliberate policies, destroying the two-state solution,” the Palestinian Authority president said in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
“This proves unequivocally that Israel does not believe in peace,” he added.
“Therefore, we no longer have an Israeli partner to whom we can talk.”
Abbas, 87, said Israel has been engaged in a campaign of land confiscation in the occupied territories and was giving the military “total freedom” to kill or otherwise use excessive force against Palestinians.
“This is the truth: they are an apartheid regime,” he said.
In demanding the international community hold Israel accountable “for the massacres they have committed,” Abbas accused members of the United Nations of “protecting Israel” from such accountability.
He reiterated the Palestinians’ position that the case of Israel be brought before the International Criminal Court so that it is forced to “shoulder its legal, political, moral and financial responsibilities.”
The United States has been urging the Palestinian Authority not to pursue a case at the ICC, arguing it is not a sovereign state and that the court unfairly targets Israel.