PA head Abbas calls for international protection of Palestinians from Israel

As the US works to calm the situation in Israel, Abbas delivered an inflammatory speech at the anti-Israel UNHRC, blaming Israel for a broad array of alleged wrong-doings.   

By: AP and World Israel Staff

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to send international protection for the Palestinians, claiming that the human rights situation under for the Palestinians is at its worst ever, and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of exploiting the Holocaust to attack the Palestinians.

The fiery speech by Abbas to a special session of the UN-backed Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva threatened to stir up new tensions with Israel, just as US-led efforts to calm the situation in the region are getting under way.

Abbas called the recent escalation in the Israel the “inevitable outcome” of the “violations” committed by Israel” and blamed the “failure of the international community to redress this injustice and distress suffered by our people.”

The Palestinian leader again threatened to annul the peace accords with Israel, saying that the PA “cannot continue to be bound, unilaterally, by the agreements signed with Israel while it fails to show commitment.”

“Israel breaches, systematically and regularly, the rules and principle of international law and the international humanitarian law. It acts like a state above the law, undeterred, unpunished and unaccountable,” Abbas charged.

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Abbas criticized Netanyahu for comments a week earlier suggesting that World War II-era Palestinian religious leader had persuaded the Nazis to carry out a policy that exterminated six million Jews. The remarks about Nazi sympathizer Haj Amin al-Husseini, a former grand mufti of Jerusalem, aimed to illustrate Netanyahu’s claim that Palestinian incitement at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site goes back decades.

“He prefers to blame Palestinians for everything — even the Holocaust. You all know that this is totally false. It is untrue and baseless,” Abbas said.

“When the Israeli prime minister tries to absolve Adolf Hitler from his ugly crimes, against the Jews, and blame Palestinians for these crimes, he is trying thereby to justify the crimes committed against the Palestinian people,” he said, according to an official translation of his remarks, which were delivered in Arabic.

Incidentally, Abbas’ doctoral thesis was a denial that the Holocaust happened. Now he was using the Holocaust to assail Israel.

Abbas claimed the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories is at its “worst and most critical since 1948” — the year of Israel’s independence — and insisted “it is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations. What is required is the end of the occupation in accordance with international legitimacy.”

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However, reports by Palestinian and independent bodies point to the PA as the greatest violator of the Palestinians’ human rights on multiple levels. Likewise, polls of Palestinian public opinion show that Abbas is perceived as a corrupt dictator, and that they have no human rights or freedom under his leadership.

He called on the Security Council to “shoulder its responsibilities” and set up a “special regime of international protection for our Palestinian people.” He did not elaborate.

At the UNHRC, a notoriously anti-Israel body chaired by Saudi Arabia, Abbas called for “peaceful popular resistance” amid the alleged violations of Palestinian rights, lashed out at Israel’s “oppressive war machine,” and said “the criminal acts of settlers must be stopped.”

“Popular resistance” in Abbas’ book means the throwing of rocks and firebombs at Israeli motorists, often resulting in severe injury or death.

Ambassador Eviatar Manor

Ambassador Eviatar Manor. (MFA)

Ambassador Eviatar Manor of Israel, who refused to attend the Abbas speech, convened dozens of diplomats afterward to decry recent “inflammatory” comments on Palestinian TV and elsewhere by Abbas.

“The Human Rights Council is being used as a stage for propaganda,” Manor said, according to a transcription of his remarks to the diplomats in a closed-door hearing. “What we have witnessed today is the glorification of terror and violence. What the Council allowed today is the banalization of the spilling of Jewish blood.”

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The Palestinians have expressed disappointment over Kerry’s recent plans to resolve the tensions, saying it does nothing to address what they claimed were the deeper issues at the heart of the conflict.

The speech came amid new violence between Palestinians and Israelis. In five weeks of violence, 11 Israelis have been murdered in attacks by Palestinian terrorists, mostly in stabbings.

Netanyahu has said the violence is the result of incitement by Palestinian leaders, including by Abbas. Abbas himself has yet condemn the stabbings and terror attacks.