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Abbas: ‘Israel has only one year to withdraw from 1967 occupied territories’ 

September 25, 2021 at 10:08 am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 6 October 2019 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday gave Israel only one year to withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

“Without this condition being met, the Palestinian recognition of Israel on the 1967 borders might be questionable,” he indicated in a recorded statement aired before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)’s 76th session in New York.

“This is a moment of truth with the occupying power. We are at a crossroads. We have had enough time. This situation cannot continue, and our people cannot endure it any longer,” he expressed.

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He added: “We are ready to work throughout this year on the delineation of borders and solving all final status issues under the auspices of the international Quartet and in accordance with United Nations resolutions. If this is not achieved, why should we keep recognising Israel based on the 1967 borders?”

Abbas continued: “Our people will not surrender to the reality of the occupation and its illegal policies and practices. They will pursue their just struggle to fulfil their right to self-determination, and all options are available, including returning to a solution based on the US Resolution 181 adopted in 1947, which gives the State of Palestine 44 per cent of the area of Palestine, double the space provided on the 1967 borders.”

The PA president stressed that the Palestinians: “Will go to the International Court of Justice as the supreme international judicial body on the issue of the legality of the occupation of the land of the state of Palestine. We have extended our hands time and again for peace, and still, we cannot find a partner in Israel that believes in and accepts the two-state solution.”

Meanwhile, he blamed the international community for Israel’s inability to recognise the Palestinian state and ignoring Palestinian partners.

“Undermining the two-state solution based on international law and UN resolutions will open the way for other alternatives imposed on us by the situation on the ground as a result of the continuation of the Israeli occupation of our state,” Abbas warned.

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With this year marking the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, Abbas recounted: “More than half the Palestinian people were uprooted from their land and deprived of their property in that time. Myself, my family and many others still possess the deeds to our land. These deeds are registered as part of the United Nations’ records.”

He also blamed the lack of action by the US and its bodies to deter Israel, asserting that this resulted in: “A failure to hold Israel accountable and sanction it for its violations of international law, allowing Israel, which claims to be a democratic state, to act as a state above the law.”

He concluded: “I reiterate yet again that the Palestinian people will defend their existence and identity and will not kneel or surrender, they will not leave and will remain on their land defending it, defending their fate and pursuing their great journey towards ending the occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and its capital East Jerusalem.”