Addressing the UNHRC, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the UN to establish a “special regime” to protect Palestinians. He also accused Israel of “extrajudicial killings” amid mounting tensions.
During a special one-hour meeting at the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians are looking to the UN for “protection.”
Abbas also called on the UN, “more urgently than any time before, to set up a special regime for international protection for the Palestinian people, immediately and urgently.”
Fresh violence between Palestinians and Israelis erupted in September following disputes over the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem. The area is also considered a holy site for the religious community, however, known as Temple Mount to the Jews.
He also accused Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians, following violence across Israel and the Palestinian Territories that has left at least 59 Palestinians and nine Israelis dead, several due to knife attacks.
“We need protection, and we look to you,” the Palestinian president said, adding that if the situation continues to escalate, it would “kill the last shred of hope for the two-state-solution-based peace.”
The statement follows ramped-up international efforts to calm the situation on both sides in fears that the conflict may yield a third intifada, or uprising, similar to those of 1987-93 and 2000-05, during which thousands were killed.
Addressing Netanyahu’s Holocaust comments
Abbas also took the occasion to slam Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments suggesting that Palestinian religious leader Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate Europe’s Jews.
Netanyahu’s statement manipulates Jews’ sentiments about “the most horrendous crime known in modern history committed by the Nazis,” Abbas said, adding that the allegations were “false, untrue and baseless.
Netanyahu later defended his comments, stating: “My intention was not to absolve Hitler of his responsibility, but rather to show that the forefathers of the Palestinian nation, without a country and without the so-called ‘occupation,’ without land and without settlements, even then aspired to systematic incitement to exterminate the Jews.”
The Israeli premier’s comments were widely criticized by Israelis, historians and public figures.
ls/jil (AFP, AP, epd)