Abbas: We’ll take ‘legal measures’ in response to Israeli gov’t policies

Abbas said the Palestinians can’t remain silent toward the controversial Ben-Gvir visit to Temple Mount.

 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the China-Arab summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 9, 2022.  (photo credit: SAUDI PRESS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the China-Arab summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 9, 2022.
(photo credit: SAUDI PRESS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The Palestinians will continue to take all legal measures available in response to the Israeli government’s practices, especially the “storming” of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound (Temple Mount), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday.

He also criticized the US administration, accusing it of “standing behind” the Israeli government’s policies.

Abbas, who was speaking during a meeting of the PLO Executive Committee members in Ramallah, said in response to this week’s visit to the Temple Mount by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir: “I reaffirm that this storming is the beginning of the implementation of the policy of the [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu government. We categorically reject his policy, but we have also heard many rejections from different countries. In addition, we heard rejection [of the policy] from inside Israel.”

Abbas said the Palestinians can’t remain silent toward the Ben-Gvir visit, which took place on Tuesday, and the Israeli government’s policy on this matter.

The meeting of the PLO Executive Committee was called by Abbas hours after Ben-Gvir’s 15-minute tour of the Temple Mount, which the Palestinians denounced as an “unprecedented and dangerous provocation.”

 PA HEAD Mahmoud Abbas addresses the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, in September. Abbas has described the new Israeli government as a ‘gang of murderers.’ (credit: CAITLIN OCHS/REUTERS) PA HEAD Mahmoud Abbas addresses the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, in September. Abbas has described the new Israeli government as a ‘gang of murderers.’ (credit: CAITLIN OCHS/REUTERS)

Abbas told the PLO officials the Palestinians are planning to take taking action in the international arena to confront the policies of the new Netanyahu government.

Abbas puts hope in the International Court of Justice

Abbas expressed hope that the International Court of Justice would issue a legal opinion on Israel’ “occupation” as recently requested by the United Nations General Assembly. Last week, the General Assembly asked the court to give a legal opinion on the “occupation.” The resolution was backed by 87 countries, while opposed by 26 others, including the US and Britain.

“We hope that the International Court of Justice would speed up its ruling,” Abbas said. “We had come under great pressure to reverse this step, but we will not give up our rights.”

The PA president also pointed out that the UN General Assembly’s vote in November 2022 in favor of holding a commemorative event in honor of the 75th “Nakba Day,” the Palestinian name for Israel’s establishment, which translates to “catastrophe.” The vote was 90-30, with 47 abstentions.

“In a few months from now, there will be another event, which was approved by the United Nations regarding the commemoration of the Nakba,” Abbas told the PLO officials. “This will happen for the first time in the history of the United Nations after the Nakba was denied by Israel, the US and the Western countries. We must now turn this event not only as a Nakba Day, but also as a day for the Palestinian narrative that refutes the Israeli narrative. We are hoping that May will be the day of the Nakba and the Palestinian narrative."

According to Abbas, the Palestinians "have a history that confirms that the Zionist narrative promoted by Western countries is a fabricated and incorrect narrative, and there must be a clear, frank, specific and in-depth response to it."