‘What gives Israel rights to annex these lands?’ – Abbas addresses UNSC

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Palestinian President ABBAS at the UN holding up a map showing the Palestinian lands annexed by Israel

‘WHAT GIVES you the right to annex these lands?’ Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded, referring to Israel’s plan to seize even more of Palestine under Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’.

He appeared before the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York in a special session on US President Trump’s ‘Deal’.

Speaking at UNSC on Tuesday he said: ‘I come before you to call for a just peace on behalf of the Palestinians, that is all. I have come to you today to reaffirm the Palestinian position which rejects the Israeli-American proposal, supported by the results of meetings of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union – they have all concluded this plan must be completely rejected.’

Abbas warned: ‘This plan should not be considered an international reference for negotiations. It is an Israeli-American preemptive plan to put an end to the question of Palestine.’

He then produced a map of the ‘independent’ Palestinian state envisioned by Trump, rightly insisting that the proposed disarray of Palestinian enclaves within Israeli territory is meant only to ‘legitimise what was illegal’ and reinforce ‘the apartheid regime.’ Such a ‘state’ will not actually have any real sovereignty and will lack any control over its ‘land, sea and air,’ Abbas said.

The Palestinian leader also called upon the UNSC to convene an international conference on Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, stressing that ‘the US cannot be the sole mediator.’ Palestinians are seeking peace, he said, and this is still ‘achievable,’ but must be based upon a ‘just partnership’ with Israel — not on plans imposed from abroad. ‘If you impose peace it will not last, it cannot last,’ Abbas said.

Meanwhile Israeli authorities yesterday issued orders to seize a large tract of Palestinian agricultural land to the west of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Hasan Breijieh, a local anti-wall and settlement activist, said that Israel delivered orders to takeover dozens of donums of Palestinian land, that are located next to the illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Sur Hadassah, in favour of establishing an industrial zone and outposts.

The land slated for takeover belongs to the Husan and Wadi Fukin villages as well as the depopulated village of al-Qabbu, all located to the west and southwest of Bethlehem.

There are almost 834,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The number of settlers has almost tripled since the Oslo Accords of 1993, when settlers’ number estimated 252,000. Illegal colonial settlements have leapt from 144 to 515 in that time.