Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas asks UN for international peace conference next year

In this image made from UNTV video, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. (UNTV via AP)
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Updated 25 September 2020

Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas asks UN for international peace conference next year

  • Abbas spoke before a large plaque reading “State of Palestine”
  • Abbas seemed to acknowledge the growing international weariness with the decades-old conflict

UNITED NATIONS, New York: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an international conference early next year to “launch a genuine peace process” while criticizing the recent decision of two Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel.
In an address before the UN General Assembly on Friday, Abbas seemed to acknowledge the growing international weariness with the decades-old conflict, saying “I wonder what more I can say after all I’ve said on countless occasions.”
The Palestinians have rejected President Donald Trump’s proposal to end the conflict that overwhelmingly favors Israel, and have officially cut off contacts with both the US and Israel. Instead, they have called for a multilateral peace process based on UN resolutions and past agreements.
They have also rejected the decision of the UAE and Bahrain to normalize ties with Israel, viewing it as a betrayal of the longstanding Arab consensus that recognition of Israel should only come in exchange for territorial concessions.
In his speech, Abbas said the agreements, signed at the White House earlier this month, are a “violation” of the “principles of a just and lasting solution under international law.”
Abbas spoke before a large plaque reading “State of Palestine.” The Palestinians upgraded their status to “observer state” at the UN in 2012.
Abbas closed by saying “there can be no peace, no security, no stability, no coexistence in our region without an end to the occupation.”
“We will not bow down. We will not surrender. We will not compromise. And we shall triumph,” he said.


Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

Updated 1 min 37 sec ago

Gaza imposes tighter virus restrictions, extends curfew

  • Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries
  • Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY: New measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Gaza Strip were announced on Thursday by the interior ministry of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian enclave.
Mosques, schools, universities and kindergartens will be closed from Saturday in the Gaza Strip, excluding high schools and nurseries, the interior ministry said in a statement.
A night-time curfew was also set to start from Saturday, lasting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 am, while a full lockdown will be imposed on Fridays and Saturdays from December 11 through to the end of the month.
Shops and other premises must close by 6:00 p.m. and people must be home by 6:30 pm, compared to 8:00 p.m. under the previous curfew rules.
Medical and political sources warned last week of a spike in Covid-19 cases in the Gaza Strip, saying the situation was “out of control.”
The enclave, a small, densely populated territory with two million inhabitants under an Israeli blockade, closed its borders early in the pandemic and only allowed a limited number of people to enter, requiring them to isolate for three weeks in quarantine centers.
Up until mid-August, authorities in Gaza had only recorded around 100 Covid-19 cases.
But in the past two weeks, containment of the virus has deteriorated in Gaza, with hundreds of new infections announced per day, resulting in a total of 23,023 cases and 122 deaths.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is among those who have recently been infected by the virus, the movement said Tuesday.