Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Abbas: Intifada Destroyed Us… PA Won’t Leave Gaza to Hamas

07/09/2010 Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said on Tuesday that the “Palestinian Authority would not leave Gaza or the West Bank to Hamas or others.”

Speaking to the Kuwait-based daily newspaper Al-Rai, Abbas vowed to try to end rivalry through dialogue. “Everybody knows the circumstances that led to the coup and to rivalry. We decided to avoid any armed confrontation with our brothers, and instead we will try to end rivalry through dialogue," he said.

Abbas rebuffed criticism by Arab leaders over his decision to re-enter negotiations, a move not endorsed by all factions within the PLO. “Let Israel wage war and we will be at the front lines, but we don't want them to choose to wage their war against ,” he went on to say, adding that “the Intifada which erupted in 2000 destroyed all that we built and what was built by our predecessors.”

Countering criticism, Abbas further said the Ramallah-based leadership had “played the role of mediator to launch indirect negotiations between Israel and Syria to be sponsored by Turkey.”

The Palestinian president in turn criticized Arab leaders for failing to transfer $500 million pledged by the Arab League in March for the Jerusalem fund. The PA, he said, required political and economic support at this stage. “The Palestinian leadership will update them on all what is going on, and we want the Gulf States to support us politically, spiritually, and financially as usual.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials on Tuesday were skeptical that the latest round of peace talks with Israel would succeed but said the US-backed negotiations were not likely to collapse.

Nabil Shaath, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, recalled in this context that Abbas announced with the utmost clarity and positivity that he is prepared to succeed in these negotiations, and that the climate in Washington was different. "But this climate means nothing if there are no results," he told reporters.

But another senior Palestinian official said the total collapse of the peace talks was unlikely. "These negotiations have been launched and there is no retreating from them," the official said on condition of anonymity. "It is impossible to imagine the US administration calling for direct negotiations at the start of the month and accepting that they stop at the end of the month, because that would hurt their credibility." He added that "it is not in our interest for there to be a complete collapse of the negotiations," and that he believed Israel and the US administration were working on a compromise on settlements.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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