Abbas gives Israel ‘one year’ to leave Palestinian territory
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has given Israel one year to withdraw from occupied territory and threatened to withdraw recognition Israel if it failed to do so.
In a virtual address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, Abbas said he would no longer recognise Israel based on pre-1967 borders – a cornerstone of three decades of failed peace efforts – if it refused to withdraw from the territories Palestinians want for a future state.
“We must state that Israel, the occupying power, has one year to withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem,” Abbas said.
“If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders?”
The Palestinian leader also called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “convene an international peace conference” and expressed his willingness “to work throughout the year” on solving the final status of the states of Israel and Palestine “in accordance with United Nations resolutions”.
Speaking against a backdrop of maps of the region showing Israel’s territorial expansion over several decades, Abbas accused Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”, using terms rarely employed for the sake of ongoing negotiations on a two-state solution.