Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signs the Paris Agreement on climate change at UN headquarters in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Not only do Jewish settlements in the West Bank preclude the establishment of a Palestinian state, but they are also an environmental hazard, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations on Friday.
Abbas spoke at a special UN ceremony in New York marking the adoption of an agreement to combat global warming reached in Paris this past December.
The United Nations said 175 states took the first step of signing the deal on Friday, the biggest day one endorsement of a global agreement. Of those, 15 states also formally notified the United Nations that they had ratified the deal.
Many countries still need a parliamentary vote to formally approve the agreement, which was reached in December. The deal will enter into force only when ratified by at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
"The occupation is destroying Palestine and the settlement enterprise destroys nature," the Palestinian leader told the world body.
The remarks prompted a response from Israel's representative in New York, Danny Danon, who said: "The climate summit was supposed to be a demonstration of global unity for the sake of the future of our planet, yet Abu Mazen (Abbas' nom de guerre) exploited the platform in order to mislead the international community."