Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of conducting a “war of genocide” against the Palestinian people during the 50-day summer war in Gaza.
In his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York, Abbas said the “occupying power” had destroyed the remaining hopes for peace but he still believes in a negotiated solution.
“Israel has decided that this year will see a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people; in the same year in which this Assembly, on behalf of the people and countries of the world, conveyed the world’s yearning and determination to realise a just peace that achieves freedom and independence for the Palestinian people in their state of Palestine alongside Israel.”
Abbas stopped short of saying he will pursue war crime charges against the Jewish state at the International Criminal Court (ICC), but said that “we will not forget, nor will we forgive or allow war criminals to escape punishment.”
His speech followed Thursday’s agreement between Hamas and rival Palestinian group Fatah to work together to form a unity government to run Gaza.
More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed and some 18,000 homes were destroyed during the war between Hamas and Israel.
Sixty-six soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side.