Sep 25, 2020 - World

Abbas calls for conference on Israeli-Palestinian conflict after U.S. election

Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his address to the UN General Assembly called for an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be held immediately after the U.S. presidential election.

Why it matters: Abbas has cut off all contacts with President Trump's White House, but hopes Joe Biden will win the election and shift U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict back to where it was during the Obama administration.

In his pre-recorded speech on Friday, Abbas criticized Trump's plan for the conflict and said it gives Israel a green light to annex one-third of the West Bank (the plan envisions Israeli annexation of 30% of the West Bank, along with land swaps in which the Palestinians gain control of a smaller amount of territory within Israel).

  • Abbas also criticized Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates for normalizing relations with Israel and said both countries violated the Arab Peace Initiative. That plan conditions normalization on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

What’s next: Although Abbas is counting on a Biden victory on November 3rd, some Palestinian officials have warned him that if the result goes the other way, he'll have to change his boycott policy — instituted after Trump announced he was moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem — and reengage with Trump in his second term.

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