U.S. State Department Condemns Abbas' 'Provocative' UNGA Speech

Abbas' 'provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties,' says spokeswoman Psaki.

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Abbas waves to the audience after addressing the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 26, 2014 in New York.
Abbas waves to the audience after addressing the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 26, 2014 in New York.Credit: AFP

U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a short statement criticizing the speech given by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UNGA on Friday, in which he accused Israel of conducting a "war of genocide" during the recent round of fighting in Gaza.

"Abbas' speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject," reads the statement, as provided by an Associated Press correspondent. "Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties."

In his speech, Abbas also said he will seek a UN resolution to set a deadline for Israel to pull out of Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 war. He did not, however, include a three-year deadline as his aides had said he would, evidently due to concerns that the U.S. would veto such a resolution, Palestinian officials told Haaretz.

"In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people," Abbas said.

"In the name of Palestine and its people, I affirm here today: we will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment," Abbas said.

Israel also condemned the Palestinian leader's speech. Senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office called it "full of lies and incitement," and said it showed Abbas' disinterest in promoting peace.

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