Abbas calls on international community to “preserve the two-state solution”

During UNHRC address, Palestinian Authority President calls on international community to adhere to UNSC Res. 2334, recognize “State of Palestine” and protect option of two-state solution; PA announces municipal elections to be held in May

Mahmoud Abbas

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community to recognize the “State of Palestine” in order to “preserve the two-state solution”, rejecting the idea of a single state solution or any solution that would not result in a Palestinian state.

Abbas addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Monday, the first of 107 participating dignitaries given the platform to speak. He called for the Council to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted in December of 2016, warning that abandoning the resolution could lead to delay or loss of a two-state solution.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 labels all Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as illegal, and calls for Israel’s complete withdraw from 1967 borders. 13 of the 14 permanent members of the Council voted in favor, the United States under the Obama Administration abstaining, essentially voting in favor.

During Abbas’s address on Monday, he stated that a two-state solution “must be protected from any attempt to withdraw from it or simply disregard it,” calling on United Nations’ bodies to “not to take steps that contribute to strengthening the Israeli occupation of the State of Palestine,” including “the support to the Israeli settlement enterprise, attacks against holy places or moving embassies to Jerusalem,” referring to the Trump Administration’s commitment to moving the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

Abbas stated “We should no longer be speaking of integrating Palestine within a larger regional framework, and that is precisely what the government of Israel is attempting to do by withdrawing from progress previously achieved.”

Abbas’s remarks comes following support from both the United States and Britain for a peace deal that is made between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, a massive shift from Western policies to date, particularly the Obama Administration, to use international bodies to interfere or force a solution for the peace process.

During Prime Minister’s diplomatic visit to the United States to meet with President Trump, Trump made clear that any solution, whether two-state or not, must be made by “the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement. We [the United States] will be beside them, working with them.” This shift in policy is the first time a United States president did not adhere to a two-state solution as the only solution on the table.

And on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority announced it would hold municipal elections in May of this year, the elections, however, only to be held in the West Bank. The announcement comes following cancelled elections that were to include Gaza residents in October of 2016. The elections were cancelled as polls guaranteed that Hamas could win the elections in a landslide.