In a Statement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said, “I say to you that settlements on the land of the occupied State of Palestine are on their way out.” Marking the 52nd anniversary of Fatah’s official founding, he added “We are calling for 2017 to be the year of international recognition of the State of Palestine, because more recognition will strengthen the possibility of achieving a two-state solution and real peace.” Abbas also added that settlement construction in the Palestinian territories does not have a bright future. “I say to you that settlements on the land of the occupied State of Palestine are on their way out,” he said. “We attained a historic UN Security Council resolution…which said that any changes since 1967 to the demographic composition or land of the State of Palestine including east Jerusalem are unacceptable.”
In his speech, Abbas also said that the Palestinian leadership is prepared to work with the US president-elect.
The President of Palestine Marked, “We emphasize that we are ready to work with the new American administration, including US President-elect Donald Trump to achieve peace in the region in accordance with the two state solution, international decisions, and the Arab Peace Initiative”
The Palestinian leadership and Abbas congratulated Trump on his election in early November and have consistently pledged to work with him. However, a number of top Palestinian leaders have recently issued warnings about the consequences of the Trump administration making changes to the status quo such as moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and forgoing criticism of settlement construction. Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO Executive Committee, told a conference call last month that the PLO would rescind its recognition of Israel if the forthcoming US administration relocates the embassy.
Meanwhile regarding internal Palestinian politics, Abbas said that efforts are under way to hold a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in the West Bank.
“Consultations with the Palestinian factions and forces to hold a meeting of the PNC in Palestine in the coming months have begun, to renew the leadership of the PLO, which is represented by the Executive Committee,” Abbas stated.
The PNC is the PLO’s parliament and is responsible for electing the Executive Committee, which is the most authoritative PLO body.
A total of 136 states have recognized the “State of Palestine,” including more than 30 since Abbas took office in 2005. The UN General Assembly granted “Palestine” nonmember observer state status in 2012.
Abbas, who has eschewed armed struggle, has led the Palestinian leadership’s international strategy to achieve statehood over the past several years.