‘Our grief, trauma, anger will not make us abandon our humanity,’ Palestinian leader tells UN

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, addresses the General Assembly. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

26 September 2014 – Addressing the General Assembly this morning, President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas noted that he had embarked on a recently launched round of negotiations in good faith and with an open mind, strongly determined to reach a peace accord within nine months.

According to Mr. Abbas, the negotiations had not started from point zero, “nor are we lost in a labyrinth without a map, nor do we lack a compass so as to lose sight of the finish line and of the destination.”

He recalled how he had last addressed this very hall as “Palestine was healing her wounds and her people were burying beloved martyred children, women and men after yet another war.”

“And here we are again today….full of grief, regret, bitterness. The difference today is that the scale of this genocidal crime is larger, and that the list of martyrs, especially children, is longer,” Mr. Abbas told world leaders.

This last war against Gaza was a series of “absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world.” We can assume that no one will wonder anymore why extremism is rising and why the culture of peace is losing ground, said the Palestinian leader.

“At the same time, I affirm that our grief, trauma and anger will not for one moment make us abandon our humanity, our values and our ethics; we will maintain our respect and commitment to international law, international humanitarian law and international consensus,” said Mr. Abbas.

“The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestinian people is at best isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands, without borders and without sovereignty over its airspace, water and natural resources, which will be under the subjugation of the racist settlers and army of occupation, and at worst will be a most abhorrent form of Apartheid,” he said, adding that Israel can no longer act as a state above the law with impunity.

During the past two weeks, the State of Palestine and the Arab Group have been working with Member States to prepare a Security Council draft resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an endeavour that aspires to establish the State of Palestine over the entire territory occupied since 1967, and deal with the plight of Palestine refugees, with a specific timeframe for the implementation as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative.

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