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Abbas calls for international conference, slams Israel as 'state above the law' in UN speech Open in fullscreen

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Abbas calls for international conference, slams Israel as 'state above the law' in UN speech

Mahmoud Abbas addresses the UN Security Council [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 February, 2018

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas slammed Israel for colonising Palestine with illegal settlements and called for a multilateral conference in mid 2018.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged all members of the UN Security Council to recognise Palestine as a full member UN state, while calling for a multilateral international conference to pave way for full Palestinian statehood, along with a solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Abbas called for the international conference to take place by mid-2018.

"To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference," Abbas said during his rare appearance at the UN Security Council. 

Also in Abbas’ first address to the UN Security Council since 2009, he accused Israel of sabotaging the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as settlements, branded illegal by international law, continue to grow and the overt shift in policy over Jerusalem continues to materialise.

He accused a “state above the law” saying its actions are creating “permanent settlement colonisation”. He then reiterated that Palestinians have no animosity towards the Jewish people or Judaism, only the “occupiers of their land.”

Abbas defended the Palestinian right to their land by citing their far reaching history inside of Palestine.

“We are descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago and continuously remained there to this day,” he told the UN Security Council, whilst slamming the British government for drafting the Balfour Declaration in 1917.

Abbas also called on the international community to press on the plight of Palestinian refugees, reminding the Security Council that the Nakba occurred 70 years ago, resulting in six million Palestinian refugees.

Tensions between Ramallah and Washington and allies in Tel Aviv heightened after US President Donald Trump's decided to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and declare the contested city as Israel's capital. 

Trump's declaration caused outrage, sparking protests across the world, and led the Palestinian leadership to render Washington incompetent in brokering a peace deal between Palestine and Israel.

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