Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 77th United Nations General Assembly on Friday at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Photo by Cia Pak/United Nations/BP
Sept. 23 (BP) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke Friday at the United Nations General Assembly and accused Israel of “destroying the two-state solution” for peace and enforcing a stalemate with violence.
Abbas’ speech came a day after the address given by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid at the General Assembly on Thursday. In his remarks, Lapid said he supports a two-state solution, which would carve out areas for both Israel and Palestine.
Abbas, in his speech, said that he doubts Israel’s sincerity.
“Israel does not believe in peace,” he said. “It believes in imposing a status quo by force and aggression.
“Therefore, we no longer have an Israeli partner anymore to whom we can talk. Israel is ending our contractual relations with us.”
Abbas added that Israel is on a path of taking land that’s long been occupied by Palestinians for settlements — “as if this land is empty and has no owners.” He also said Israel has given its military and armed supporters free reign to kill Palestinians with no consequences.
“Israel is telling the Palestinian people either you demolish your house or I will demolish it myself,” Abbas said, adding that Israel often will charge Palestinian homeowners for such demolition.
Abbas pointed to a 2021 New York Times article that said 67 Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli attack in Gaza. He addressed the deaths to make a point of Israeli attacks on civilians that displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and villages.
Earlier this month, the Israel Defense Forces said that there is a “high possibility” Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was accidentally shot dead by Israeli troops in May, but will not pursue criminal charges against the Israeli military.
Abu Akleh, a journalist for Al Jazeera, was killed and her colleague Ali Sammoudi was injured on May 11 while Israeli forces were conducting a raid of a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank.
“After all of this killing, they have to apologize,” Abbas said on Friday. “They should be held accountable.
“The international community should hold them accountable. We ask the international community right now to hold them accountable for what they have done.”