Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas has said that Israel’s continued oppression was destroying the possibility of a two-state solution. Abbas warned that he could lead Palestinians to demand equal rights within one binational state comprising Israel, the occupied West Bank, and besieged Gaza.
In his address to the UN General Assembly via video link from the West Bank, Abbas called on the international community to act to protect the two-state formula that for decades has been at the heart of the diplomatic effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Abbas accused Israel of “destroying the prospect of a political settlement based on the two-state solution” through its settlements on occupied West Bank land.
Abbas gave Tel Aviv a year to withdraw from occupied territories that it annexed in the 1967 Middle East war as he threatened to rescind the Palestinians’ recognition of Israel.
He said, “If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders? Why maintain this recognition?” Abbas said.
Abbas said, “If the Israeli occupation authorities continue to entrench the reality of one apartheid state as is happening today, our Palestinian people and the entire world will not tolerate such a situation. Circumstances on the ground will inevitably impose equal and full political rights for all on the land of historical Palestine, within one state. In all cases, Israel has to choose.”
The Palestinian president warned that the state will go to the Hague-based International Court of Justice to seek adjudication over the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation and called on the UN chief Antonio Guterres to work on resolutions on Palestine.
Abbas also asked for international help to carry out elections, including in occupied Jerusalem, and told countries providing financial support to Tel Aviv that they’re prolonging the occupation.
Most of the international community viewed the settlements as illegal.
There was no immediate Israeli comment on Abbas’ remarks.
Israel’s far-right Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vehemently opposes Palestinian statehood. His government has vowed to avoid sensitive choices towards the Palestinians and instead focus on economic issues.
While some Palestinians and Israelis support the idea of a single bi-national state, most have very different ideas of what that entity would look like and how it would be governed.
Most experts believe that a single state would not be viable, for religious, political, and demographic reasons. Israeli governments have viewed a one-state concept as undermining the essence of an independent Jewish state.
Earlier on Tuesday, in his UN address US President Joe Biden reiterated his support for the two-state solution, saying it would ensure “Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state.”