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Abbas seeks end to “longest occupation in modern history” at UN General Assembly

By Jonathan Brown - September 22, 2014
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [UN] [Operation Protective Edge] [Gaza] [Mahmoud Abbas]

After meetings in Paris with French president Francois Hollande, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the U.N. to "seek international protection for the Palestinian people.” 
Ramallah, September 22 — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week to present a new strategy for a "solution to the conflict" between the Israelis and Palestinians.
In a joint press conference on 19 September with President Abbas, French President Fancois Hollande said: "It is time to put an end to the longest occupation on modern history." Abbas similarly urged "all countries to assume their responsibilities to end a conflict that has lasted more than 66 years," adding, "Making peace will give added legitimacy to the fight against terrorism in the region," AFP reported.
Abbas said he and Hollande had discussed ways "to achieve peace and stability in the region and restore security, ensuring that the Palestinian people get their independence and freedom," during meetings in Paris.
"We will have a resolution, to be presented to the Security Council, that will say very clearly what we expect from the [peace] process and what the solution to the conflict must be," Hollande told reporters at the press conference with Abbas.
Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to Abbas, said the Palestinian President would present a new strategy [for peace] in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, September 26.
Under the plan - which has not yet been fully detailed - Abbas will ask the U.N. Security Council to issue a binding resolution, with a specific date for ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. 
In the event of a likely U.S. veto at the Security Council, Abbas would seek membership in dozens of international institutions and agencies, including the International Criminal Court, the Associated Press reported.
Recent years have seen The Palestinian Authority seek legitimation through membership with a variety of international bodies: In November 2012, the Palestinian Authority was officially granted observer status at the U.N. despite votes against the motion from both the United States and Israel. More recently, the Palestinian Authority has illustrated ambitions of joining the International Criminal Court, which could open the way toward the prosecution of Israeli officials for "war crimes."
After U.S. brokered peace talks instigated U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry collapsed in April of this year due to Israel’s refusal to release a final contingent of Palestinian prisoners, Abbas formally applied for Palestinian membership in 15 U.N. conventions and agencies.
Abbas’ impending speech at the General Assembly and presentation of a new peace strategy is likely to  be seen as an attempt to regain the trust of Palestinians lost in wake of this summer’s 50-day war in the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians and saw support for Abbas plummet. 
“The U.S. has urged Abbas not to turn to the Security Council, but has not offered an alternative,” a Palestinian official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Abbas will use meetings on the sidelines of the General Assembly to gauge international support for his plan.” 


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