• Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas criticises Oslo agreement
  • No mention of dissolving the Palestinian Authority

During his address to the UN general assembly on 30 September, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said his country will “no longer continue to be bound” by the Oslo accords unless it receives “international protection” from Israel.

Abbas said the 20-year-old peace agreement could no longer be relevant for Palestine if it continued to be “one-sided”.

“We cannot continue to be bound by these signed agreements with Israel, and Israel must assume fully its responsibilities of an occupying power, because the status quo cannot continue.

“We will start the implementation of this declaration by all peaceful and legal means. Either the Palestinian National Authority will be the conduit of the Palestinian people from occupation to independence, or Israel, the occupying power, must bear all of its responsibilities.”

Video:

Mahmoud Abbas, Gaza/West Bank (English), UN speech

Video:

Mahmoud Abbas, Gaza/West Bank (Arabic), UN speech

Abbas also spoke about the recent developments at Jerusalem and expressed concern over “repeated, systematic incursions upon Al-Aqsa aimed at imposing a new reality”.

He called on the international community and the UN to put the neccassary pressures on Israel following what he called failed negotiations in recent years.

“It is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations; what is required is to mobilise international efforts to oversee an end to the occupation in line with the resolutions of international legitimacy,” Abbas said. “Until then, I call upon the UN to provide international protection for the Palestinian people in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

Despite this, Abbas did not announce the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority, which was set up under the Oslo agreement. He also did not mention any breakdown in security cooperation between the two parties.  

The president spoke on the day the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN for the first time. “In this historical moment, I say to my people everywhere: raise the flag of Palestinians very high because it is the symbol of our identity,” he said.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to speak on 1 October.

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