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Mahmoud Abbas: Israeli Settlement Law is an ‘Aggression against our People’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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French President Francois Hollande (R) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a joint declaration at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, February 7, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS)

Paris – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has described a new Israeli law legalizing settlements as an attack against his people.

Speaking on Tuesday during a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande, Abbas said the law was illegal and was “obviously against the wishes of the international community.”

“Our goal is peace, but Israel is working from the basis of a single state,” the Palestinian president said.

“This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organizations,” he added.

Abbas and Hollande met in Paris a day after the Israeli parliament legalized dozens of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“I want to believe that Israel and its government will reconsider this law,” Hollande said.

Israel’s new law was met with wide international disapproval. Britain, France, the United Nations and Jordan criticized the law, which was passed by the parliament on Monday.

Hours before the Palestinian president’s meeting with Hollande, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), said the bill is “putting the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution”.

Erekat described the recent Israeli measure as “theft”. He said the Israeli government was trying to legalize looting Palestinian land.

In his joint statement with Hollande, Abbas warned against moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one of U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign promises.

“Any move in that direction is an error and shouldn’t be done prior to an agreement on a political solution,” he said.