Abbas to propose new Mideast peace talks timetable at UN
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Abbas to propose new Mideast peace talks timetable at UN

‘I say today to Prime Minister Netanyahu: End the occupation, make peace,’ PA president tells New York audience

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at Cooper Union, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York. (Photo credit: AP/Jason DeCrow)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at Cooper Union, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in New York. (Photo credit: AP/Jason DeCrow)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed Monday to present a new timetable for peace talks with Israel when he addresses world leaders at the United Nations this week.

“I say today to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu: End the occupation, make peace,” Abbas told an audience in New York.

In a passionate address to students at Cooper Union, Abbas said: “The international community has the responsibility to protect our people, living under the terror of settlers, an occupying army.”

“We cannot understand how the Israeli government can be so misguided as to fail to understand that the indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that killed thousands of women and children only sowed more hate,” Abbas said, a reference to the over 2,000 Palestinians who died during Operation Protective Edge, at least half of them combatants, according to Israel.

“This week I will propose to the United Nations a new timetable for peace talks,” Abbas said, speaking in English and winning a standing ovation.

The veteran Palestinian leader is set to address the annual UN General Assembly on Friday.

Abbas has said he intends to propose a three-year deadline for the Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The latest peace talks led by US Secretary of State John Kerry collapsed in late April amid bitter recriminations on both sides. Netanyahu called off additinal discussions following Abbas’s announcement of a Hamas-backed Palestinian unity government, as talks were ongoing. The Palestinians were fiercely critical of intermittent Israeli announcements of additional tenders for settlement units during the negotiations.

Palestinian and Israeli officials are trying to negotiate a permanent deal, via indirect talks in Cairo to seal a ceasefire which went into place in late August after a 50-day war in the Gaza Strip.

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