Following Israel’s footsteps in denouncing Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, the United States reportedly hit out at the Palestinian President, calling his speech “offensive” and “provocative,” according to media reports.
“President Abbas’ speech today included offensive characterizations that were deeply disappointing and which we reject,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki reportedly said. “Such provocative statements are counterproductive and undermine efforts to create a positive atmosphere and restore trust between the parties.”
In his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Abbas had accused Israel of carrying out a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip, terming the recently-concluded 50-day-long war a “series of absolute war crimes.”
“We will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment,” Abbas reportedly said, adding that the Palestinians had been forced to face the “most abhorrent form of apartheid” under Israeli occupation.
He also said that he would push for a U.N. resolution on setting a deadline for Israel to withdraw its forces out of Palestinian lands.
Israel had earlier reacted angrily to Abbas’ speech, denouncing it as “a speech of incitement filled with lies.”
Abbas' speech “highlights once again how he does not want and cannot be a partner for a reasonable diplomatic agreement,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, according to a report by The Times of Israel.
“Abbas complements Hamas when he deals with diplomatic terrorism and slanders Israel with false accusations,” Lieberman reportedly said.