September 29, 2015   |   Michaela Whitton
September 29, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat expressed disappointment this week with U.S. President Barack Obama, condemning the American head of state for ignoring the Palestinian issue during his speech at the U.N. general assembly on Monday.
For the first time since he took office in 2009, the president was silent on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, fueling fears that his attention will be elsewhere during the last 18 months of his presidency.
“Does president Obama think he can beat ISIS and terrorism, or achieve peace and security in the Middle East by ignoring the constant Israeli occupation, settlement activity, and attacks on al-Aqsa mosque?” asked Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
The U.S. president’s failure to mention the issue during his 43 minute speech adds to growing despair among Palestinians as they experience a resurgence in violent, daily clashes with Israeli troops at the al-Aqsa Mosque.
While the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank goes unchecked and the Palestinian Authority (PA) demands an investigation into the killing of an unarmed Palestinian woman, the U.S. president’s sidelining of the issue undoubtedly adds to Netanyahu’s satisfaction that Palestine is a low priority on the global agenda.
Further pushing the issue into a corner, Jordan’s King Abdullah II referred to Jerusalem as though it were solely a Jordanian issue. According to Israeli media, the only ally of beleaguered President Mahmoud Abbas to emerge so far is Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, who openly called for the establishment of a Palestinian state and a halt to the building of settlements.
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With many unsurprised that the Palestinian issue has disappeared from the lips of world leaders, press speculation continues to fuel rumours that 80-year-old Palestinian President Abbas intends to drop a bombshell from the podium on September 30th.
Time will tell if Abbas will deliver an ultimatum that counteracts the belittling of the situation so far during the U.N.’s yearly gathering. What is evident is that the American government will not be leading the way on significantly pressuring Israel in the foreseeable future.
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