After Peres Funeral, Abbas Vows to Defeat ‘Occupation’

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (C) sits alongside European Council President Donald Tusk (L) and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery during the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016. / AFP / POOL / ABIR SULTAN (Photo credit should read ABIR SULTAN/AFP/Getty …

The Times of Israel reports: Palestinians will “defeat the occupation” and establish a state with Jerusalem as its capital, hopefully as early as 2017, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday.

Abbas, facing intense internal criticism over the weekend for his decision to attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, made the combative statements during a speech in Bethlehem.

“We have no illusions that the occupation will end tomorrow,” he said. “But they can do what they want, build [in settlements] as they please; we will build our homeland and establish our future state, with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Abbas added that the Palestinians would renew their bid to become a full-fledged member of the United Nations, upgrading their current status of a “non-member observer state.”

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