Israel didn't like it.
America didn't like it.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of carrying out a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip.
He was referring to the 50-day conflict over the summer that left approximately 2,100 Palestinians, 72 Israelis and one Thai national dead.
President Abbas has, since 2012 has said that the Palestinians would take the issues of occupation, collective punishments, and (in their view) war crimes to the International Criminal Court, but made no mention of this specifically in his speech – this being seen as a concession itself.
The Israeli delegation was not present in the hall during Mr. Abbas's speech, but Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Mr. Abbas's speech was a “speech of incitement filled with lies”. He then accused the Palestinian leader of “diplomatic terrorism”.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said President the speech “included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing”.
Analysts are saying the speech was particularly strongly worded because the worlds attention, which was focused on the Palestinian plight and gaining steam diplomatically – has lost out in the headlines to the barbarism of Islamic State and their campaign of carving out a Caliphate.
But what I hear in part on the ground is that Mr. Abbas is losing some degree of popularity and respect among his people to the more hard line elements in the PA – ultimately Hamas itself.
Palestinians complain that they have done as Israel has asked them to do, and Israel has not reciprocated.
This then gives credence in some peoples minds to the actions, like what was seen in Gaza, which has brought to Gazans incredible amounts of loss and destruction – but has achieved greater fishing rights at sea and a loosening in the siege on the character and amount of goods allowed into the Strip.
Abbas told the Assembly, “There is no meaning or value in negotiations for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war.”
Middle East Correspondent