Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Mahmoud Abbas lists alleged Israeli violations before 'bombshell' UN speech


The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has circulated a hard-hitting critique of alleged Israeli violations of the 20-year-old Oslo accords and subsequent agreements ahead of his speech to the UN general assembly in New York later on Wednesday.

The comprehensive matrix of claimed violations, seen by the Guardian, was compiled in July and has been shared with US and European officials, among others, and is expected to form the basis of Abbas’s speech.

Covering issues from water rights, tax collections and transfer of monies, to settlement building, house demolitions and the continued Israeli military occupation which gives Israel “exclusive control of 62% of the West Bank”, the document argues that “Israel has failed to honour the accords as it has violated many of its provisions”.

Western diplomats who have met Abbas recently report he feels exhausted and isolated, and say he will argue that he feels the Oslo agreements have been effectively gutted.

A further flavour of what Abbas might say was supplied in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post calling for multilateral international efforts to push forward the peace process outside of US stewardship.

“While the Israeli government pays lip service to the two-state solution internationally, domestically it employs policies aimed at destroying what’s left of Palestine,” he wrote.

The UN speech has been heavily trailed – including by Abbas himself, who hinted he intended to “drop a bombshell” at the general assembly. That led to speculation by some Palestinian officials that Abbas might announce he was nullifying the Oslo agreement in whole or in part. more

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