RAMALLAH, Wednesday, May 19, 2021 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday afternoon pledged not to accept any substitute for East Jerusalem, Palestine’s “eternal capital”.
In a virtual speech before the Arab Parliament’s emergency session on the Israeli onslaught on Gaza and escalation throughout the occupied territories, particularly the forced expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah, President Abbas stated: “Jerusalem is our eternal capital, and we will never accept any substitute for it. Without it, there would be neither peace, nor security, nor stability, nor agreement in our region and the world.”
He pointed that Jerusalem “has once again proven as the common foundation around which the Palestinian people as well the Arab and Islamic nations meet. Everything is worthless without it.”
Discussing the relentless Israeli onslaught that has killed 221 Palestinians and wounded over 1,700 others in Gaza, Abbas condemned the Israeli bombardment and every other action taken by the Israeli occupation authorities against the strip as an act of “organized state terrorism” and war crimes that are punishable under international law, while pledging to pursue the perpetrators and held them accountable through international courts.
He emphasized that the current efforts are focused on halting the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, and engaging in a serious political process based on clear international terms of reference that would ensure ending the Israeli occupation of the territories of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.
He reiterated his commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative in letter and spirit, which stipulate that Israel fully withdraws from all the Palestinian and Arab territories it has been occupying since June 1967 before discussing any issue related to ties with Israel.
“We are seeking to make peace, but not to wage war. At the same time, however, we could not forgo any of the rights of the Palestinian people and nation, particularly their rights to Jerusalem,” he added.
Highlighting the issue of general elections, he said that the efforts will continue to ensure the elections are held throughout the territories of the State of Palestine, including East Jerusalem, as he pledged to hold the elections once the reasons behind their postponement are eliminated.
He reaffirmed his readiness to form a national consensus government that adheres to the United Nations resolutions (resolutions of international legitimacy) and gains international acceptance.
Arab legislators are expected to urge taking practical measures to stop Israeli crimes that constitute blatant violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy and a flagrant challenge to the will of the international community.
A number of important recommendations and resolutions that support Palestinians' legitimate rights are slated to come out of the session.