RAMALLAH, Monday, May 4, 2020 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Monday evening reiterated his threat to nullify all agreements with Israel and the US if Israel annexes any part of the occupied West Bank.
Speaking before the special online Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit via videoconference, Abbas reiterated that if Israel moves to apply sovereignty over, or in other words to annex, the Jordan Valley and the illegal colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank, he would absolve all agreements with it and the US.
“We have informed all international parties that should Israel take this step, we will be absolved of all obligations, agreements and understandings with Israel and the US Administration,” he stated.
He urged the United Nations (UN), the UN Security Council and the international community at large to “to prevent the Israeli government from taking advantage of the pandemic to move ahead with its plans to annex parts of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 in violation of the Palestinian people’s rights and in grave breach of international law, thus destroying any remaining chance for realizing the two-state solution and establishing a just and lasting peace and security.”
He reiterated his call for the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails and held the Israeli government responsible for their safety, particularly at the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
He stressed the importance of establishing a working group that will set up a database of the medical, food and humanitarian needs of the NAM member countries.
Held under the motto of “United against COVID-19”, the summit was convened at the initiative of the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in his capacity as the current chair of the movement.
Following is the complete text of Abbas’ speech:
H.E. President Ilham Aliyev,
Majesties, Excellencies, Distinguished Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me at the outset to express our appreciation and gratitude to H.E. President Ilham Aliyev for his initiative to convene this important meeting in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which constitutes the gravest humanitarian crisis witnessed by humanity in the modern era.
We welcome all participating Heads of States, Governments, and delegations.
This Summit constitutes a critical opportunity for the leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to contribute by presenting their ideas, as well as exchanging and coordinating positions on the best avenues to confront the challenges and repercussions caused by this pandemic, and how to overcome them. It is also an occasion to enhance cooperation and solidarity, as well as support for the international response in these exceptional circumstances for our countries and the world as a whole.
This dangerous pandemic is spreading in an unprecedented way, affecting all humanity, which requires undertaking the necessary medical, economic and social measures to protect our nations and peoples.
Mr. President, Excellencies,
The State of Palestine declared as early as 5th of March 2020 a state of emergency, and took decisive preventive measures that have helped to greatly mitigate the number of people infected, despite our scarce of resources.
These measures included shutting down international crossings from and to Palestine, restricted movement between the cities and isolating infected areas. In addition, we shut down schools, universities, mosques and churches. We have also prevented all forms of public gatherings and created quarantine centers as well as testing and treatment facilities throughout the districts.
By doing this, we followed the path of our profit, Mohammad, who was the first to legislate such exceptional measures fourteen centuries ago.
We are still, like some other countries around the world, in dire need for medical equipment and supplies, as well as budgetary support to face the socio-economic repercussions due to this grave pandemic.
In this regard, we stress the importance of establishing a working group that will set up a database of the medical, food and humanitarian needs of the member states of our Movement. It has also become imperative to create an international panel of epidemiologists to exchange relevant expertise in the service of all peoples and member states of the movement.
I propose that this assessment should also include economic needs to address the destructive repercussions on the economies of the developing countries and to present it to donors for funding. I have also shared this proposal with the United Nations Secretary-General as part of the ideas presented in my letter to him, dated 24 March 2020, and I welcome his responsiveness to these ideas, some having been put in place already.
Mr. President, Excellencies,
This situation impacts our country very hard particularly, as it is compounded by the Israeli occupation’s oppressive measures and its colonial policies. The continued detention of thousands of Palestinian prisoners puts their lives at risk, Israeli restrictions prevent us from providing protection and care for our people in occupied East Jerusalem. We call upon you to press the Israeli government to release our Palestinian prisoners, and we hold Israel responsible for their safety and lives.
We express our appreciation for the constant support of the Movement for the just Palestinian cause, and call on all member states of the Movement, the United Nations, including the Security Council, and the international community at large, to uphold their responsibilities in ensuring the applicability of international law, and to prevent the Israeli government from taking advantage of the pandemic to move ahead with its plans to annex parts of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, in violation of the Palestinian people’s rights and in grave breach of international law, thus destroying any remaining chance for realizing the two-state solution and establishing a just and lasting peace and security.
We have informed all international parties that should Israel take this step, we will be absolved of all obligations, agreements and understandings with Israel and the US Administration
Mr. President, Excellencies,
I want to assure you of our readiness to cooperate with all the member states of the Movement to combat this dangerous pandemic.
I express my wishes for the success of this summit, and I hope that our decisions will contribute to the well-being of our people, our countries, and the world as a whole.
Peace be upon you.