Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called on Israel “not to turn [its] back to the prospects of peace” and cautioned that the chances to achieve peace may not remain for too long.

In a speech before the World Economic Forum in Istanbul, Abbas said, “We say to our Israeli neighbors that we want peace, justice and freedom. Our people made big sacrifices when they agreed to the establishment of a Palestinian state on less than one-quarter of the land of historic Palestine. Don’t turn your back to the chance that is available today because it may not last for a long time.”

Abbas called for making a “just and comprehensive peace that ensures a better future for our region and the next generations and spares our and your children a return to the cycle of violence.”

The PA president urged the US and other members of the UN Security Council to convince Israel to halt construction in the settlements in order to pave the way for the resumption of the peace process.

The region, he added, needs to start building bridges of cooperation, peace and dialogue and not the erection of walls and expansion of settlements.

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