Settler assaults on Palestinians and their properties are being carried out under the protection of the IDF, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed on Friday.

Abbas, who was commenting on Thursday’s fire-bomb attack near Bethlehem in which six Palestinians were wounded, said the IDF could prevent such assaults if it wanted.

Palestinians have accused settlers of being behind the attack.

“These attacks are taking place under the eye of the Israeli army, which is not doing anything to stop them,” Abbas told a local radio station in Ramallah. “This proves that the racist policy continues to plague the mentality of the army and the settlers.”

Abbas called on the Israeli government and the US administration to work to “stop these barbaric and despicable” attacks. Thursday’s attack against a Palestinian family was a “despicable crime that is completely unacceptable,” he said.

Asked about his plans to seek Palestinian membership in the UN next month, Abbas predicted that the PA leadership would again come under heavy pressure to backtrack.

“In the past, we had been subjected to pressure to prevent us from going to the Security Council, but we didn’t care and went,” he said. “We only care about the interests of our people and just cause.”

Abbas noted there were various parties that did not want the Palestinians to gain membership in the UN.

“Last time, we were unable to achieve the backing of enough Security Council members,” Abbas said, referring to the botched 2011 statehood bid at the UN. “But during the upcoming session [next month] we will apply for the status of non-member state in the General Assembly and we have great confidence that we will get the support of a big majority.”

Abbas pointed out that 133 countries had already recognized the Palestinian state, while many other countries had Palestinian representative offices on their soil.

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