Palestinian leader Abbas urges UN to suspend Israel as world commemorates the Nakba

The National  /  May 16, 2023

He says its membership should only be reinstated when it establishes separate Jewish and Arab states, and allows Palestinian refugees to return.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has urged the UN to suspend Israel’s membership until it enacts two key resolutions on Palestine.

Mr Abbas made the remarks on Monday during the UN’s first official commemoration of the Nakba — the flight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from what is now Israel following the world body’s partition of British-ruled Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states 75 years ago.

He said the suspension should only be lifted when Israel moves to establish separate Jewish and Arab states, in addition to allowing the return of Palestinian refugees.

VIDEO  :  Palestinian leader Abbas urges UN to suspend Israel as world commemorates the Nakba (

“Forcing Israel to implement these two resolutions was a condition, a prerequisite for their membership in the UN at the time,” he said.

“However, sadly, certain countries, we all know who we are talking about … have obstructed deliberately the implementation of these resolutions in a practice that undermines justice, ethics and human values.”

In an hour-long speech — which doubled its allotted time — Mr Abbas asked the world’s nations why more than 1,000 resolutions adopted by UN bodies regarding the Palestinians had never been enforced.

He held up a letter sent by Moshe Sharett, Israel’s first Foreign minister, soon after the resolutions were adopted in 1947 and 1948, which promised to create a Palestinian state and allow the return of refugees.

“Either they do fulfil these obligations or they stop becoming a member,” Mr Abbas said.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan had sent letters to General Assembly condemning the commemoration.

He urged ambassadors not to attend what he called an “abominable event” and a “blatant attempt to distort history”.

He said those who attended would be condoning anti-Semitism and giving a green light to Palestinians “to continue exploiting international organs to promote their libelous narrative”.

The Nakba commemorates the estimated 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes in 1948.

This year’s commemoration has taken place amid intensified Israeli-Palestinian fighting and protests over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.

Mr Abbas also blamed the UK, as Palestine’s ruler before the 1947 partition, and the US, Israel’s most important ally, for the flight of the Palestinians, saying they “bear political and ethical responsibility” for evicting Palestinians and implanting Israel “in our historic homeland”.

“And Israel would not have continued its hostility and aggression without the support it receives from these two countries,” he said.


Palestine’s Abbas calls on UN to ‘suspend’ Israel as Nakba marked

Al-Jazeera  /  May 16, 2023

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists that Israel must respect UN resolutions on Palestine or cease as a UN member.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has urged the United Nations to suspend Israel’s membership in the world body unless it ends its aggression against Palestinians and implements UN resolutions establishing separate Israeli and Palestinian states as well as the return of Palestinian refugees.

Abbas spoke on Monday during the first official UN commemoration of the flight of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from what is now Israel amid the violence of the partition of Palestine 75 years ago.

More than 760,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled from their homes in 1948 when Israel was created, an event Palestinians call Nakba — or catastrophe — and marked each year on May 15.

In an hour-long emotion-filled speech, Abbas asked the world’s nations why more than 1,000 resolutions adopted by UN bodies regarding the Palestinians had never been implemented.

He held up a letter from Israel’s foreign minister, Moshe Sharett, after resolutions were adopted in 1947 and 1948 promising to implement them and said: “Either they do respect these obligations, or they stop becoming a member.”

“We demand today officially, in accordance with international law and international resolutions, to make sure that Israel respects these resolutions or suspend Israel’s membership of the UN,” Abbas said in his speech.

Abbas accused Israel of having “never fulfilled its obligations and the prerequisites for its membership” of the United Nations.

The Palestinian president counted “around 1,000 resolutions” adopted by the UN General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council related to Israel. “To date, not one single resolution was implemented,” he said.

Abbas added that Nakba “did not start in 1948 and it did not stop after that date”.

“Israel, the occupying power, continues its occupation and its aggression against the Palestinian people and continues to deny this Nakba and rejects international resolutions regarding the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland,” he said. There are 5.9 million Palestinian refugees living in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, according to the UN.

The UN is commemorating Nakba at its headquarters in New York City this year for the first time after a resolution was passed in November.

UN member states expressed support for the Palestinian people and their cause on social media.

Israel’s UN representative, Gilad Erdan, branded the event “despicable” and wrote a letter to other ambassadors urging them not to attend.

According to the Israeli foreign ministry, 32 countries, including the United States, Canada, Ukraine and 10 from the European Union, did not attend.

The UN’s undersecretary-general for political affairs and peacebuilding, Rosemary DiCarlo, reaffirmed the UN’s “clear position” that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories must end because it is “illegal under international law”.

Abbas also said that the most important right Palestinians are demanding now is self-determination based on June 1967 borders.

Abbas added that Palestinians are not against Jews, but “I am against those who occupy our land”.

He said Israel should recognize and apologize for the Nakba and pay compensation to the refugees and for the land it now occupies. And he said that if these root causes are not addressed, the Palestinians will continue to pursue legal action, especially at the International Criminal Court, which was greeted by loud applause from the large audience in a UN conference room.

Israel has remained defiant.

“We will fight the ‘Nakba’ lie with full strength and we won’t allow the Palestinians to continue to spread lies and distort history,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in a statement.