Palestinian leader: Israel has lost its legitimacy

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to establish a Palestinian state and said he was prepared to meet the new prime minister in a phone call.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Abbas said Israel has abandoned its legitimacy and is not a democratic state.

He said that Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is illegal and illegitimate, and that the Palestinian people has the right to resist this occupation and the occupation that Israel is conducting against them.

Abbas said that it is time for the international community to speak up against this Israeli plan, which is an affront to the Palestinian nation.

The Palestinian leader called on world powers to call for the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners, the establishment of a Palestinian unity government, the lifting of the Israeli occupation, and the establishment and implementation of a democratic Palestinian state.

Israel has long been seen as an obstacle to the establishment in peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel, who seek a state on their territories.

A Palestinian leader in Jordan said on Wednesday that Israel would be expelled from Jordan if it continues with plans to establish an Israeli state on its territories.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also called for a meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas on Monday.

Netanyahu said on Thursday that a call would take place between the prime minister and the Palestinian president.

“This will be the first call in more than a decade between a Palestinian leader and a Jewish leader,” he told a joint news conference with Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.

“It is an important first step in our journey towards a Palestinian future, an inclusive future.”

Israel has repeatedly rejected calls for a Palestinian leadership in peace talks between the two sides.

A statement by Abbas’s office on Thursday said the Palestinian leader was ready to meet Netanyahu at the beginning of next week.

“The Palestinian people will respond to all Israeli actions with an iron fist,” the statement said.