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Palestinians will consider all options to end Israeli occupation, apartheid: Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at the opening of the 31st session of the Palestinian Central Council, on February 6, 2022.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says his country is considering all options to end the Israeli occupation as the Tel Aviv regime is pressing ahead with "its colonial practices that perpetuate apartheid and settler terrorism."

“We will consider all our options, especially as we have responded, to the fullest extent, to the international efforts aimed at finding a fair resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and fulfilled all our obligations, so that no one can blame us for the obstruction of the peace process,” Mahmoud Abbas said at the opening of the 31st session of the Palestinian Central Council on Sunday.

He stressed that “It is no longer possible to remain silent on the current situation,” adding “It has become imperative for us to make fateful decisions to maintain our presence in our homeland, for the sake of al-Quds, the jewel of the crown, and for the sake of a free Palestine.”

Abbas stated that the Palestinians are currently in dire need of finding “means to end the occupation of the land of the Palestinian State with its capital, East al-Quds” and to step up the peaceful popular resistance – which he described as “our main option” – in order to confront the settlers’ terrorist attacks and the Israeli plans to seize the Palestinian territory.

He then hailed the anti-Israel protests in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and other areas, saying they were aimed at defending “our identity and presence.”

Still, he noted that Palestine would continue to cooperate with the international community to achieve “a comprehensive and just peace.”

Noting that Palestine has resumed its ties with Washington after the departure of former US President Donald Trump, who had adopted a radically pro-Israel stance, Abbas said his country is still waiting for the administration of Joe Biden to make good on its promises, including the announcement of its adherence to the two-state solution and its rejection of Israel’s settlement expansion.

In February 2020, the Palestinian Authority severed ties with the US after Washington announced a controversial pro-Tel Aviv scheme, dubbed “the deal of the century”, which Washington claimed would resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The one-sided move provoked a strong backlash from Palestinians at the time.

Palestinians stopped recognizing any intermediary role by the US in late 2017, when Trump took all his predecessors’ pro-Israeli measures to a whole new level by recognizing the holy city of al-Quds in the Israeli-occupied West Bank as Israel’s “capital”. The move by Washington came while Palestinians have historically sought to make East al-Quds the capital of their future state.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Abbas urged the United Nations and the international community to implement the UN Security Council resolutions that call for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to pressure Tel Aviv to stop its settlement expansion policy, which, he said, hinders “the two-state solution.”

He also stressed that the crimes committed by the Israeli regime against Palestinians are imprescriptible.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank.

All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.

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