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Abbas urges support for UN resolution to end occupation

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday has urged international support for a U.N. resolution on a timetable to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

“There must be a new approach to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, end the Israeli occupation and produce a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas said at the opening of an international conference for Gaza reconstruction in Cairo.

“The international community is now required – now more than ever – to support our request for a U.N. resolution that would put in place a timetable for the end of Israeli occupation,” he added.

Abbas said that the Israeli occupation is preventing Palestinians from benefiting from 60 percent of the West Bank lands and inflicting $3 billion in annual loss to the Palestinian economy.

He also warned of the consequences of Israel’s failure to abide by the international resolutions and the two-state solution, saying it could drive the region into a cycle of violence and conflict.

“The Israeli occupation has not given up its systematic plan to seize the Palestinian land. The Israeli aggression should not go unpunished,” he added.

He also voiced hope that the international community would not “fail us” in providing support for Gaza reconstruction.

“All crossings between Palestinian and the world must go operational. The Palestinian economy should not remain hostage to the Israeli occupation,” he added.

The one-day conference aims to mobilize efforts for the rebuilding of the embattled Gaza Strip following Israel’s devastating 51-day onslaught on the coastal enclave.

About 30 foreign ministers and representatives of 20 regional and international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, are taking part in the one-day conference, chaired by Egypt and Norway.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi are also taking part.

The Arab League said earlier this month that it hoped to raise $5 billion at the conference for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

For seven weeks in July and August, Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

The offensive left around 2,160 Palestinians dead and some 11,000 others injured – the vast majority of them civilians – while destroying residential structures and infrastructure across the coastal strip.

Israel also destroyed thousands of homes and facilities in the embattled Palestinian territory, creating tough humanitarian conditions for its 1.9 million residents.

The onslaught came to an end following a ceasefire deal signed in Cairo on August 26 by Palestinian and Israeli negotiators.

Home to 1.8 million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006.

The siege was tightened further after Palestinian resistance movement Hamas – labeled a “terrorist group” by Israel – wrested control of the coastal territory from rival faction Fatah in 2007.

International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsPalestineUN
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