Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday called for international protection for Palestinians, saying the human rights situation under Israeli occupation is the worst it has ever been, and accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of exploiting the Holocaust to attack Palestinians.
The fiery speech by Mr. Abbas to a special session of the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council in Geneva threatened to stir up new tensions with Israel, just as U.S.-led efforts to calm the situation in the region are getting under way.
Mr. Abbas insisted “it is no longer useful to waste time in negotiations for the sake of negotiations. What is required is the end of the occupation in accordance with international legitimacy.”
Mr. Abbas accused Israel of carrying out “extrajudicial killings” during the latest violence, a reference to the shootings of Palestinians accused in stabbings.
‘Arabic must in schools’ Israeli lawmakers voted on Wednesday to make Arabic classes compulsory for students from the age of six, in a move backers hoped would help improve ties between Israeli Jews and Arabs. It will now be studied in committee before returning to parliament for a second vote.