Palestinian Prez blames Israel for tension in meeting with Blinken

Ramallah, Feb 1 (IANS): Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Israeli government "is fully responsible for the current tension and violence in the Palestinian territories".

Abbas made the remarks during a meeting held at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah with Blinken, who is on a three-day Middle East visit that started on Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA) reported on Tuesday.

"The Israeli government is responsible for the deterioration on the ground today because it has undermined the two-state solution and violated the signed agreements," he was quoted as saying.

The Palestinian President also accused the international community of failing to end the Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories and end the Israeli settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Xinhua news agency reported.

He added that there is a lack of international efforts to recognise the Palestinian state and its full membership in the UN.

"There is also opposition to the efforts of the Palestinians to defend their existence and their legitimate rights in international forums and courts and to provide international protection for our people," Abbas noted.

He told Blinken that "this policy encourages the Israeli occupier to commit more crimes and violates international law".

The Palestinian President listed to US Secretary of State the Israeli unilateral actions and violations, including settlements, actual annexation of lands, settler terror, storming Palestinian territory, killing crimes, and house demolitions.

"Israel is being overlooked, without deterrence or accountability, as it continues its unilateral operations and crimes against the Palestinians and their properties," said Abbas.

He added that "the complete cessation of unilateral Israeli actions, which violate the signed agreements and international law, is the main entry point for returning the political horizon and ending the Israeli occupation".

"All this can be achieved under international references and the Arab Peace Initiative to make peace, stability, and security for all in our region and the world," Abbas said.

The Palestinians want to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and establish an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Peace negotiations sponsored by the US had stopped in 2014 following deep differences on issues like settlement, security and the Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Health Ministry had earlier stated that since January 1, the Israeli Army had killed 34 Palestinians, including children and women, in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials had warned of the Israeli escalation of killing Palestinians, mainly after the formation of the new Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is the most right-wing in Israel's history.



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