JERUSALEM – Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, said that the state he represents remained committed to peace and a negotiated settlement with Israel so long as these could be guaranteed by international law.
In an exclusive article supplied to EFE days after the United States said it was closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington DC, Abbas said that the State of Palestine was prepared and entitled to live side-by-side with Israel within the 1967 borders.
“The State of Palestine remains committed to peace and negotiations based on international law and resolutions of international legitimacy,” Abbas said in the article.
The White House had closed the delegation citing a Palestinian refusal to sit down to negotiate and also to allegedly rejecting an as yet unpublished peace plan being prepared by Donald Trump’s government.
Abbas, who wrote the article to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Agreement, said he was prepared to “engage with Israel in good faith.”
He stipulated that negotiations should be held within a multilateral framework and include international guarantees so that the outcome could be implemented with accountability and under the patronage of the United Nations.
Israel has long offered to resume peace negotiations, which stalled in 2014, but has stipulated that it would only do so in the absence of preconditions, discarding Palestinian requirements which have included a cessation of the growth of Israeli settlements in occupied territory and the release of prisoners jailed before the Oslo process.
Despite showing a willingness to engage in dialogue, Abbas also stated that Israel’s violations of international law and UN resolutions had to be held to account.
“My people continue to endure great injustices for the past 101 years that the international community should have ended a long time ago,” he said.
He said the Palestinian people were determined to move forward to pursue their project for nationhood, independence and freedom.
“This will only materialize when the international community holds Israel accountable to its international obligations, works to end the occupation, and the UN Security Council fulfills its obligations to maintain international peace and security,” he added.
The Palestinian cause, he warned, was at a dangerous crossroads with an Israeli government “that does not believe in peace” and “denies the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people” and a US government that, in his opinion, “no longer defends international values and law.”
The relationship between Palestinians and the US reached its lowest point during the last 12 months.
The former have rejected Washington as a valid mediator in the conflict, considering it aligned with Israel after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the transfer of its Embassy from Tel Aviv.
The Trump administration ceased funding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), announced cuts to hospital aid and ordered the closure of the Washington DC office of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
“The formula for peace is simple and begins with ending the Israeli occupation,” Abbas said.