TUNISIA, Sunday, March 31, 2019 (WAFA) - President Mahmoud Abbas stressed during his speech at the 30th Arab Summit in the Tunisian capital of Tunis that in order to safeguard the interests and dreams of the Palestinian people in freedom and independence we can no longer bear or coexist with the status quo. We will have to take decisive steps and decisions.
President Abbas said that we are embarking on very difficult days after Israel destroyed all agreements and reneged on all commitments since the Oslo agreement up until today.
He stressed that Israel‘s continued policies and actions to destroy the two-state solution have made us lose hope for any peace that can be achieved with it.
He said that the continuation of Israel‘s racist policies and acting as a state above the law would not have been possible without the support of the American administration, in particular, its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving its embassy to it, and removing the settlements and refugees files and UNRWA from the negotiating table.
The president stressed that the decisions that the current US administration‘s have taken represent a blow to the Arab peace initiative and a radical change in the positions of the successive US administrations towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, thus ending its role in proposing a peace plan or playing a mediator in the peace process.
He reaffirmed that we cannot accept a peace plan that does not respect the principles and terms of reference of the peace process and the resolutions of international legitimacy to end the Israeli occupation and achieve freedom and independence.
President Abbas warned of Israel‘s attempts to push some countries to transfer their embassies to Jerusalem, which he stressed requires everyone to inform those countries that they are violating international law and legitimacy and will put their political and economic interests with Arab countries at risk if they did so.
Abbas noted that due to the absence of a political solution that is based on international legitimacy, we have called for the convening of an international peace conference and the establishment of a multilateral international mechanism to sponsor the negotiations.
He urged European countries that have not yet recognized the State of Palestine to do so, stressing that this is not an alternative for negotiations but will preserve the two-state solution and enhance the chances of peace in the region.
Regarding Israel’s deducting of the welfare payments of detainees and families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas reaffirmed that we will not abandon our people, especially those who sacrificed, and will continue to support them, even if that costs us our last financial resource.
He said that Israel’s deduction of part of the tax revenues and the US halt on aid aim at forcing us to surrender and abandon our legitimate right to Jerusalem, ‘but we say to them that Jerusalem is not for sale and it makes no sense for Palestine to be without East Jerusalem as its capital.’
The president called for activating the decisions of the previous Arab Summits on the provision of a financial safety net and fulfilling the financial obligations to support the budget of the State of Palestine, which he stressed will enable the Palestinian people to stand firm and steadfast.
Regarding internal affairs, Abbas stressed the importance of moving forward ‘to achieve the unity of our land and our people’, stressing his keenness to provide almost half of the budget of the State of Palestine to our people in Gaza. He said that we have made every possible effort to ensure the success of the Arab and international efforts despite Hamas‘s position that disrupts reconciliation, praising Egypt‘s efforts in this regard.
Abbas condemned and called for the condemnation of the repressive practices carried out by Hamas in Gaza, and warned them against harassing the masses of our people who rose up in Gaza demanding the end of the coup and a decent life.
He renewed rejection of aggressive statements made by the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he said that transferring funds to Hamas is part of a strategy to keep Palestinians divided and undermine the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state.