Abbas: Resolution doesn’t solve Palestinian issue, but rather defines it

"We want peace and you have your state and we have our state. Lets live side by side peace in stability.”

December 25, 2016 12:11
2 minute read.
President Rivlin with PA President Abbas

President Rivlin with PA President Abbas. (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

PA President Mahmoud Abbas praised the international community in his response to the passage of a UN Security Council resolution critical of settlements on Saturday night.

“The world was silent for 36 years. We had been calling on it to take a position on settlements, but it never responded.

However, yesterday the world stood in unison next to us and supported us,” the PA president said at a Christmas dinner in Bethlehem, according to Wafa, the official PA news site. “The world is telling Israel, you must be attentive and walk back from this erroneous policy that cannot bring peace.”
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat applauds UN security council vote on anti-settlement resolution (Dec. 24, 2016)

Security Council Resolution 2334 said Israeli building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem “has no legal validity” and called for the establishment of two independent states and an end to incitement on both sides.

Abbas added that the resolution itself does not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“What happened yesterday did not resolve the [Palestinian] issue, but rather it defined it and affirmed the legal basis to resolve it, which is that settlements are illegal,” Abbas remarked.

Before Friday’s resolution, the Palestinian leadership made two abortive attempts to pass Security Council resolutions critical of Israeli government policy in the past five years.

Abbas also called on Israel to renew negotiations on the basis of the Arab peace initiative.

“We say to the Israeli side, come to the negotiation table to discuss all the outstanding issues between us so that we can resolve them with good intentions. We are neighbors and this place is holy. We want peace and [for you to] have your state and [for us to] have our state. Let’s live side by side in peace and stability,” Abbas said, adding, “If you agree to that, 57 Arab and Islamic states will immediately recognize Israel. You now live on an isolated island, but if you agree, you will live in peace and stability with us.”

Moreover, Abbas said such talks would not be open-ended.

“A international mechanism will be determined to sponsor these talks, which will include seven to 10 states and a time frame for the implementation [of an agreement]. If this takes place, the doors to achieve peace will have opened,” Abbas said.

At the conclusion of his speech, Abbas offered his thanks to a number of states, including the US, which abstained from voting on the resolution.

“I thank the United States for its position... what its delegate said at the Security Council was an expression of support and we understand their neutral position,” Abbas said. “On this occasion, we renew our congratulations to President-elect Trump on his election as president of the United States and hope to work with him for the sake of peace and stability.”

Abbas has led the Palestinian leadership in an effort to internationalize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the past number of years.

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