Abbas Rails at Israel, U.S. in U.N. Speech

NEW YORK -
abbas u.n.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Thursday. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas railed at Israel and the United States in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, angrily rejecting the Trump administration’s peacemaking efforts and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s promise to annex the Jordan Valley.

Abbas was defiant on the issue of paying terrorists and their families, saying that “even if I had one penny left, I would give this penny to the families of the martyrs,” a reference to Palestinians who have been killed by Israeli security forces while carrying out terror attacks.

“We reject any [peace] negotiations led by one country,” he said, “we will consider them as biased. You all know this one country,” Abbas said.

Specifically denouncing the as-yet unreleased Washington peace plan, he declared: “What they have proclaimed is rejected, is rejected, is rejected.” ‏

Abbas attacked Netanyahu’s pre-election declaration that he intends, if reelected, to extend Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. “We reject entirely and completely this plan,” he said, warning that if pursued they would render diplomatic agreements with Israel null and void.

The PA leader accused Israel of mounting “a reckless racist war against anything that is Palestinian” in Yerushalayim, which he said could lead to “religious war.”

Abbas also said he intends to call for local elections in the Palestinian Authority immediately upon his return from New York. He has often been criticized for suspending elections for several years, and recent reports show that it has seriously eroded his support among Palestinians.

In response to Abbas’ speech, Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said, “The Palestinian Authority chairman refuses to understand that recycled speeches in New York will not lead to solutions in Ramallah. Abbas prefers to invest more in the PA’s efforts against Israel at the UN than in the fight against incitement and terrorism in the PA under his leadership. The applause that accompanied his remarks about paying salaries to terrorists is the legacy he will leave behind.”