Speaking to the UN General Assembly on Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s call for a two state solution in a speech that also denounced Israel as an apartheid state disinterested in peace.
“When we hear something positive, we acknowledge it, and yesterday I listened to the US President Joe Biden and to the Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and to other world leaders. I heard them supporting the two state solution. And we are thankful for that. This is of course a positive development.” Abbas said towards the end of his speech.
That thanks stood in contrast to the long list of accusations that Abbas leveled against Israel in the remainder of his 48 minute long remarks.
“Israel is enacting racist laws, consecrating the apartheid regime. Yes, apartheid. And if they do not like the appellation, this is the truth, they are an apartheid regime,” he said.
Abbas warned that it was Israel, not the Palestinians, who are threatening the future of a two state solution. “This proves unequivocally that Israel does not believe in peace, it believes in imposing a status quo by force and by aggression. Therefore we do not have an Israeli partner anymore to whom we can talk. Israel is thus ending its contractual relationship with us,” he said.
Among the examples Abbas cited was supposed Israeli mistreatment of, in Abbas’s phrasing, the “hero prisoner” Nasser Abu Hmeid, who is being treated for lung cancer. “He committed a crime,” Abbas said without clarifying the nature of the crime. Abu Hmeid was convicted of murdering seven Israelis and for the attempted murder of 12 others. Abu Hmeid’s four brothers are also serving life sentences for murdering Israelis. The Abu Hmeid family receives thousands of dollars per month from the PA as compensation for the imprisonment of their relatives.
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