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US Condemns Abbas United Nations Speech

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki (R) arrive for an Arab League Foreign Ministers emergency meeting at the league's headquarters in Cairo, Sept. 7, 2014.

The United States has rejected a speech given by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations Friday, saying it included "offensive characterizations."

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Abbas was demanding a "firm timetable" for an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian lands. In doing so, he accused Israel of war crimes during the recent conflict with the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

U.S. State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said such provocative statements are "counterproductive" and undermine efforts to restore trust between the two sides.

Mr. Abbas said he would seek a U.N. resolution to achieve a timetable for Israeli withdrawal. Abbas aides said the timetable would be three years.

Israel has accepted the idea of a two-state solution, but Israeli and Palestinian negotiators have long been at odds over the boundaries of a future Palestinian state.

Mr. Abbas appeared at the U.N. a day after his Fatah organization and Hamas announced that their unity government would take control of the Gaza Strip.

Fatah and Hamas — which rules Gaza — agreed to set up the unity government after peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority stalled earlier this year.

Some information for this report comes from AP and AFP.

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