Abbas, Haley spar over Israel at Security Council meeting

By Sara Shayanian  |  Feb. 20, 2018 at 1:40 PM
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Feb. 20 (UPI) -- In a speech at the United Nations Security Council Tuesday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas confronted the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Abbas called President Donald Trump's decision earlier this year to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem a "dangerous" development.

The Palestinian leader said the Trump administration made an "unlawful decision" when they announced the move and called for a "multi-lateral international mechanism" to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Israel is acting like a state above the law" Abbas said, adding that the U.S. ally has "shut the door on the two-state solution."

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley fired back at Abbas Tuesday during the security council meeting, telling the Palestinian authority the United States "will not chase" after negotiations with Palestinians.

"The United States knows the Palestinian leadership was very unhappy with the decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem," Haley said. "You don't have to like that decision. You don't have to praise it. You don't even have to accept it. But know this: that decision will not change."

White House spokesman Josh Raffel said White House adviser Jared Kushner, and special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt were "finalizing" the U.S.'s peace plan -- a plan Abbas expressed no interest in without other international partners.

"We have expressed our absolute readiness to reach a historic peace agreement," Abbas said. "No country alone can solve a regional or international conflict without the participation of other international partners."

Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon told Abbas in a separate speech that was he was "no longer part of the solution."

"You are part of the problem," he added.

Abbas' speech came as Israel faces escalating tensions with Iran, a supporter of the Palestinian Authority.

Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran's Expediency Council, said Tuesday that any attacks against Iran by Israel would result in the destruction of Tel Aviv.

"The U.S. and Israeli leaders don't know Iran and don't understand the power of resistance and therefore, they continuously face defeat," Rezaei told Hezbollah-affiliated Al Manar News.

"Today, the situation of the U.S. and Israel indicate their fear of the Zionist regime's collapse and the U.S. decline."

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