By Fatih Erel
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on the international community and the U.S. to defend the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Abbas said: "We call on countries that have recognized Israel and believe in the two-state solution to defend and support this solution by recognizing the State of Palestine."
"We also reiterate our readiness and willingness to cooperate with all countries, including the U.S. administration of President [Donald] Trump, toward the achievement of peace on the basis of international law and international resolutions," Abbas added.
Abbas’s comments follow a recent meeting in Washington between Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which the U.S. leader appeared to row back from supporting a two-state solution to the conflict -- a long-standing American policy.
Urging the U.S. not to move its embassy to Jerusalem, Abbas also said: "We warn concerned parties not to take steps that contribute to strengthening the Israeli occupation of the State of Palestine.
“This includes support [for] the Israeli settlement enterprise, attacks against holy places, or moving embassies to Jerusalem."
During his election campaign, Donald Trump’s campaign team hinted at plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, something which is opposed by Palestinians.
"Today we reiterate our demand for the establishment of an international protection system for the Palestinian people, which will put an end to Israeli violations of Palestinian basic rights, compel Israel to cease confiscation on Palestinian land, and stop the seizure of underground water resources," Abbas said.
Abbas also hit out at recent Israeli plans to authorize the construction of more settlements on occupied Palestinian land. He said recent legislation passed in the Israeli Knesset [parliament] legalized the theft of such land, creating “a very dangerous precedent, which we, and the international community vehemently reject”.
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