In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas demanded that Israel withdraw to the 1967 boundaries within one year or else face repercussions.
While Abbas had initially announced that he would travel to New York for the diplomatic meet, he later opted to remain in Ramallah, citing travel concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Israeli authorities have one year to withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem,” Abbas said in a pre-recorded video message.
During this year, the PA would be willing to work with Israel on borders and other issues necessary to resolve in any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, Abbas said.
If Israel did not comply, Abbas said the Palestine Liberation Organization could withdraw its recognition of Israel within the 1967 borders. The PLO recognized those boundaries as part of the Oslo peace process in the 1990s.
“If this is not achieved, why maintain recognition of Israel based on the 1967 borders? Why maintain this recognition?” Abbas said.
Abbas also threatened Israel with action at the International Court of Justice should the current deadlock in the peace process continue. The International Criminal Court in The Hague is currently investigating both Israel and the Palestinians for war crimes committed since 2014.
Should Israel fail to move towards establishing a Palestinian state “we will go to the International Court of Justice as the supreme international judicial body, on the issue of the legality of the occupation of the land of the Palestinian state,” Abbas said.