Having promised a hugely important announcement during his address to the UN General Assembly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today announced that the Palestinian Authority no longer considers itself bound by existing agreements with Israel because the Israeli government keeps violating those pacts.
Abbas in particular noted the 1993 Oslo Accord, which was supposed to end the Israeli military occupation of Palestine by 1999, noting that Israel is dramatically escalating settlement activities and has not terminated the occupation as promised.
Saying that the status quo can no longer continue, Abbas declared that Israel should consider itself obliged to fulfill all the responsibilities of an “occupying power” in the Palestinian territories. This would include ensuring food and medical supplies are provided to those living under occupation, and explicitly forbids settlements.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office condemned the announcement as “incitement” and demanded that Abbas unconditionally accept new talks with Israel. The past round of peace talks ended in failure when Israel reneged on promised prisoner releases. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the speech proved Abbas doesn’t want a peace deal.
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