Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night called on the world to recognize the “State of Palestine” this year.
“We are calling for 2017 to be the year of international recognition of the State of Palestine, because more recognitions will strengthen the possibility of achieving a two-state solution and real peace,” Abbas said in a televised speech from his Mukata headquarters in Ramallah, marking the 52nd anniversary of Fatah’s official founding.
Abbas, who has eschewed armed struggle, has led the Palestinian leadership’s international strategy to achieve statehood over the past several years.
The UN General Assembly granted “Palestine” nonmember observer state status in 2012.
A total of 136 states have recognized the “State of Palestine,” including more than 30 since Abbas took office in 2005.
Abbas added that settlement construction in the Palestinian territories does not have a bright future.
“I say to you that settlements on the land of the occupied State of Palestine are on their way out,” he said. “We attained a historic UN Security Council resolution...
which said that any changes since 1967 to the demographic composition or land of the State of Palestine including east Jerusalem are unacceptable.”
Security Council Resolution 2334, which was passed on December 23, says settlement have “no legal validity” and are an obstacle to peace.
The Palestinian leadership has celebrated the resolution, while Israeli leaders have called it “shameful.”
In his speech, Abbas also said that the Palestinian leadership is prepared to work with the US president-elect.
“We emphasize that we are ready to work with the new American administration, including US President-elect Donald Trump to achieve peace in the region in accordance with the twostate solution, international decisions, and the Arab Peace Initiative,” Abbas remarked.
The Palestinian leadership and Abbas congratulated Trump on his election in early November and have consistently pledged to work with him.
However, a number of top Palestinian leaders have recently issued warnings about the consequences of the Trump administration making changes to the status quo such as moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and forgoing criticism of settlement construction.
Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, told a conference call last month that the PLO would rescind its recognition of Israel if the forthcoming US administration relocates the embassy.
Meanwhile regarding internal Palestinian politics, Abbas said that efforts are under way to hold a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in the West Bank.
“Consultations with the Palestinian factions and forces to hold a meeting of the PNC in Palestine in the coming months have begun, to renew the leadership of the PLO, which is represented by the Executive Committee,” Abbas stated.
The PNC is the PLO’s parliament and is responsible for electing the Executive Committee, which is the most authoritative PLO body.
If the meeting of the PNC is held in the West Bank, Hamas has said it will boycott it.