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Abbas defends Hamas in speech: “The Hamas Movement is part of our people, and I do not agree that terror be ascribed to it”

Official PA TV, speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “What I want first of all is that you [Americans] take back the things you have done: in other words, transferring the embassy to Jerusalem – a mistake. Cancelling the aid to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) – a mistake. And say what you have said more than once: That the borders are the 1967 ones and [the solution is] two states. After all, this was much talked about already in the days of [former US President George W.] Bush the son, so why have you taken it back? This is in regards to the Americans. Afterwards, what happened two days ago [Dec. 6, 2018] – they published a statement or proposed a [UN] resolution in which they want to consider the Hamas Movement a terror [organization]. Okay, they asked me: ‘What’s your opinion?’ I told them my opinion is that the Hamas Movement is part of our people, and I do not agree that terror be ascribed to it. I do not accept that it is a terror [organization]. Therefore, they went and submitted the resolution to the [UN] General Assembly. Here the modest Palestinian diplomacy took action… and the resolution failed, while the resolution that Ireland submitted about the Palestinian people’s rights succeeded with a majority of 146 votes (sic., 156 votes in favor of a draft resolution titled “Comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East”), and with this we succeeded because the matter is not great, but it must be done since it is about an issue of the homeland and an issue of Jerusalem. I will not take back my decision, and I will not relinquish my rights.”

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations.
The US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv and opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar.

US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation."
The move came after the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA in early January 2018 for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.

UN Resolution condemning Hamas - The US proposed a resolution to condemn the terror organization Hamas for firing rockets into Israel and inciting violence, and demanding that it and other terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad cease their terror activities, including the use of airborne incendiaries. The proposal was voted on by the UN General Assembly on Dec. 6, 2018. Although it received a majority of the votes, the proposal did not receive the two thirds needed to be ratified.

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