Abbas calls for end to Israeli occupation, settlement activities

April 23, 2016 8:57 am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signs the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 22, 2016. ©AP

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has once again called on world leaders to help bring an end to the Israeli regime’s occupation and illegal settlement activities in the occupied lands.
“Please help us in putting an end to occupation and to putting an end to settlements,” Abbas said an address to a gathering of 175 countries signing a landmark climate deal at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Friday.
The Israeli occupation is destroying climate in the Palestinian territories while the Israeli settler units are wiping out nature there, Abbas added.
The comments drew an angry response from Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, who accused the Palestinian president of using the UN stage to rail against Tel Aviv.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Abbas noted that discussions are underway about a new draft Security Council resolution against Israel’s unlawful expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands.
“We are deliberating with international parties and relevant Arab ministerial committee to examine the content and timing for proposing a Security Council resolution against settlement activity,” he said.

Palestinian protesters hold national flags, as the illegal Halamish settlement is seen in the background, during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Nabi Salih near Ramallah on April 15, 2016. ©AFP

Back in 2011, the UN Security Council failed to adopt a similar resolution, which called for the condemnation of Israeli settlements.
The draft gathered an overwhelming support of 14 out of the council’s 15 members, but the United States used its veto to block the measure.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
All Israeli settlements are illegal under the international law. However, Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the settlement expansions in the occupied territories.
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