Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday used his address to the United Nations General Assembly to attack Israel.
The PA chairman claimed that Israel is deliberately impeding progress toward a two-state solution and can no longer be considered a reliable partner in the peace process, reported AFP.
Abbas charged that the Jewish state has acted with "total impunity" against people in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria and that Palestinians' trust in the prospects for peace is "regressing."
Israel "is, through its premeditated and deliberate policies, destroying the two-state solution," he claimed.
"This proves unequivocally that Israel does not believe in peace. Therefore, we no longer have an Israeli partner to whom we can talk," stated Abbas.
The PA chairman accused Israel of having been engaged in a campaign of land confiscation in “occupied territories” and of giving the military "total freedom" to kill or otherwise use excessive force against Palestinians.
"This is the truth: they are an apartheid regime," he charged.
In demanding the international community hold Israel accountable "for the massacres they have committed," Abbas accused members of the United Nations of "protecting Israel" from such accountability.
Abbas acknowledged Prime Minister Yair Lapid's talk of the two-state solution during his UN speech on Thursday, calling it “a positive step”.
"The true test for the credibility of this task is to go back to negotiations based on the Arab Peace Initiative immediately," said Abbas, as quoted by Haaretz.
He said that the PA is committed to peace and fighting terrorism, and added that "we are ready for the initiative."
"We have waited too long. We are tired," he concluded. "Do you have a solution? I need a solution."
In his speech on Thursday, Lapid said that "Israel's economic and military strength allows us to protect ourselves but it also allows us something else: To strive for peace with the entire Arab world, and with our closest neighbors – the Palestinians."
"Peace is not a compromise. It is the most courageous decision we can make. Peace is not weakness. It embodies within it the entire might of human spirit," he said.
Israel, said Lapid, has "only one condition" for the establishment of a Palestinian state: "That a future Palestinian state will be a peaceful one. That it will not become another terror base from which to threaten the well-being, and the very existence of Israel. That we will have the ability to protect the security of all the citizens of Israel, at all times."
"You can ask us to live according to the values in the UN Charter, but you cannot ask us to die for them," he added.
Lapid’s comments were welcomed by US President Joe Biden, who tweeted, “I welcome Prime Minister Lapid's courageous statement at the UN General Assembly: ‘An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy, and for the future of our children.’”
“I could not agree more,” he added.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)