Abbas says Palestine no longer bound to Oslo

Palestinians no longer bound to Oslo accords without international protection, says Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses attendees during 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015

Updated Jan 20, 2016

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday told the United Nations General Assembly in New York that Palestinians are "no longer bound" to the Oslo peace accords if they are not "internationally protected" from Israel.

Abbas said the peace treaty - which the Palestinian government signed with Israel in the mid-1990's - is now one-sided due to continuous Israeli assaults and escalations and needs to be revised.  

The General Assembly recently adopted a Palestinian-drafted resolution that allows non-member observer states to raise their flags alongside those of full member states.

As a result the two non-member observer states at the UN - the Palestine and the Vatican - have raised their flags.

Abbas told the member states of the UN that Israel is sabotaging US support for the mediation of peace in the region and said that restrictions by Israeli security forces preventing Palestinians from entering the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem could lead to a religious crises.   

The Palestinian President  addressed the United Nations General Assembly before the official ceremony to raise the Palestinian flag at the UN headquarters in New York for the first time. 

Abbas said the accords would not be implemented as long as Israel continues to carry out its occupation and settlement of Israelis in the West Bank and refuses to release Palestinian prisoners who have been imprisoned for at least half a decade.  

"You are all aware that Israel undermined the efforts made by the administration of President, Barack Obama in past years, most recently the efforts of Secretary of State, John Kerry aimed at reaching a peace agreement through negotiations," Abbas said to the 193-nation General Assembly.

In response to Abbas' speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Abbas' statements were "deceitful and [encourage] incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East."

"We expect and call on the [Palestinian] Authority and its leader to act responsibly and accede to the proposal of Israel and enter into direct negotiations with Israel without preconditions," it said, adding that Abbas "does not intend to reach a peace agreement."

Obama, whose relations with Netanyahu have been poor, addressed the assembly on Monday but did not mention Israel or the Palestinians, an unusual omission.

Abbas also praised the French government’s efforts to revive peace negotiations and called for unified national authority that would unite different Palestinian groups for a stronger government.

"We are determined to preserve the unity of our land and our people," Abbas said. "We seek to form a national unity government that functions according to the program of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and we seek to hold presidential and legislative elections."

Several confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces have erupted in recent weeks in different locations along the West Bank and Jerusalem during protests against Israel's violent crackdowns at Al Aqsa Mosque compound.

Abbas said Israel's use of "brutal force" at the mosque could "convert the conflict from a political to religious one, creating an explosive in Jerusalem and in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced in early September that a new ministerial meeting will be hosted as part of renewed efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The meeting was scheduled for September 30, during the annual high-level session of the General Assembly.

Peace talks have stalled between Israel and Palestine since early 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have been unable to agree on ground rules for the negotiations.

Backed by the international community, Abbas says that the pre-1967 frontier - before Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem - should be the starting point for talks on the borders of a future Palestinian state. Netanyahu fully rejects that notion, along with ultra-conservative Jewish parties such as Jewish Home.

Some 135 countries - many in Asia, Africa and Latin America - now recognise Palestine as a state.

TRTWorld and agencies