At an anniversary celebration Sunday marking the founding of the Fatah party, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urged Israel to rethink its “aggressive policies” and “apartheid system” before it is too late.
“We will not accept the status quo. We will not accept the apartheid system. We will not accept occupation without cost, and you [Israel] must rethink your aggressive policies and actions against our people, our land and our holy places before it is too late,” Abbas said.
Abbas slammed the Israel Defense Forces and “settler terrorist groups” for their “crimes” against the Palestinians, speaking at event marking the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Fatah movement, according to the official Wafa news agency.
At the celebration Abbas also laid a wreath at the tomb of the later Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
According to Channel 10, Abbas said the “murder” of a disabled Gazan protester killed in border clashes earlier this month and the arrest of a Palestinian teenager filmed slapping IDF soldiers in the West Bank “remind us of all the crimes by the Israeli security forces and settler terror groups.”
The army earlier this month said it did not intentionally shoot a disabled Palestinian man, Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, who was killed in a riot along the Gaza security fence on Friday, but could not determine his cause of death.
Ahed Tamimi, 16, was filmed along with her 21-year-old cousin Nour slapping IDF soldiers outside the family’s home in Nebi Saleh earlier this month. She has been accused of “assaulting a soldier, harming the security of the area, incitement, and other felonies,” according to court documents.
In his address, Abbas also referred to the 2014 East Jerusalem murder of teenager Muhammed Abu Khdeir by Jewish extremists and the fatal Duma firebombing in 2015.
The PA leader again slammed the United States for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6.
The city is “the eternal capital of the Palestinian people,” he said, according to Channel 10. “We are staying here and won’t leave until Palestine is liberated. East Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinian state.”
Following the Trump announcement, Abbas rejected any further US role in the peace process with Israel and cancelled a scheduled meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence.
Earlier on Sunday the PA recalled its envoy to the United States for consultations in protest at the recognition.
Abbas also spoke of the floundering reconciliation deal with the Hamas terror group that controls the Gaza Strip.
“We will continue with all sincerity and perseverance to work to unify our land and our people and achieve national reconciliation,” he said. “I assure our people that we are moving in the path of reconciliation confidently and urgently. We will embark on a strong national unity.”
The deal, which was to have been completed several weeks ago, is on the verge of collapse, according to the head of Hamas in Gaza.
Yahya Sinwar said earlier this month that the Palestinian reconciliation process is failing over a dispute about the future of the terror group’s weapons.
“Whoever doesn’t see that reconciliation is collapsing is blind,” said Sinwar, in a meeting with local Gaza youth and social media activists.
An Egyptian-brokered agreement in early October originally set a December 1 deadline for the terror group to fully transfer power in the Gaza Strip back to the Palestinian Authority, dominated by Abbas’s Fatah party, though that was later pushed back to December 10.