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.


Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border

Updated 37 min 49 sec ago

Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border

  • The identity of the commander has not been confirmed
  • He was killed alongside three other men traveling in a vehicle with him

BAGHDAD: An air strike killed a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards at the Iraq-Syria border sometime between Saturday and Sunday, Iraqi security and local militia officials said on Monday.
They could not confirm the identity of the commander, who they said was killed alongside three other men traveling in a vehicle with him.
The vehicle was carrying weapons across the Iraqi border and was hit after it had entered Syrian territory, two Iraqi security officials separately said.
Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups helped retrieve the bodies, the two officials said, without elaborating or giving the exact time of the incident.
Local military and militia sources confirmed the account, although Reuters was unable to verify independently that an Iranian commander had been killed.
The incident came just days after Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran in a killing that Iran has blamed on Israel.
Israel launched air raids against what it called a wide range of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria last week, signalling that it will pursue its policy of striking Iranian targets in the region as US President Donald Trump prepares to leave office.
Iraqi officials fear a conflagration ahead of President-elect Joe Biden taking office because he is viewed as less confrontational with Iran than the Trump administration.
Iran-backed Iraqi militias are still reeling from the US assassination of Iranian military mastermind Qassem Soleimani in January and their Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis and have vowed revenge against the United States.