Sunday, Aug. 25
Latest News
  1. Palestinian goverment: 26 million in development of ministries
  2. Rudeineh: Washington us unable to achieve anything by itself
  3. US: “No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of the West Bank"
  4. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  5. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  6. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  7. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  8. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  9. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  10. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp

Abbas: Israel remains intransigent

Dec. 15, 2009 1:27 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 16, 2009 12:58 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leaders that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will return to negotiations once Israel abides by its previous commitments, as well as reiterated that he will not seek reelection.

“The PA will restart peace negotiations once Israel halts all settlement construction and recognizes the 1967 borders as the official borders of the future Palestinian state,” Abbas said.

Abbas denied that the PA is moving towards a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state but said “our actions fall within the framework of the international resolutions and legitimacy, while Israel remains intransigent with regard to settlements, borders, the ongoing siege on Gaza, and Palestinian detentions. Israel is the one taking unilateral decisions.”

The president added that talks would resume at the point at which they were broken off in December 2008, when Israel began an attack on the Gaza Strip.

The EU proposal, declaring east Jerusalem the capital of the future Palestinian state, was applauded by Abbas however, he added, “despite being positive, this decision hasn’t achieved our utmost ambitions. Nevertheless, we will depend on the decision as our foundation, and we must push towards this goal, especially in Moscow conference.”

Abbas also reiterated that he had no desire to run in elections, should they be held. “I said before that I wouldn’t run for president, and I reiterate here that I will not run. There still remains certain steps to take, which I will discuss later.”

Additionally, Abbas reaffirmed his support for the prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel, urging Israel to finalize it.

The Central Council’s meeting was intended to address an internal political crisis resulting from the conflict between Abbas’ Fatah movement and Hamas.

Before Abbas' speech, Salim Az-Za’noun, head of the Palestinian National Council, said "we do not see a constitutional void threatening our political system. Here, we renew our invitation for Hamas to change its position on the Egyptian proposal in order to reach reconciliation, end the division, enable our people to have their right to vote, and put an end to the suffering caused by the coup.”

An election Abbas himself scheduled for January was called off when the Palestine Central Elections Commission said it would be unable to organize a vote in Gaza, where the Hamas government would not allow it.

Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after winning parliamentary elections the previous year. The takeover compelled Abbas to dissolve a unity government.

According to Palestinian Basic Law, Abbas’ term officially expired in January. A PLO decision extended his mandate, but Hamas and other dissenters contested the legitimacy of the move.

During its two-day meeting in Ramallah, the PLO Central Council is expected to ask Abbas to stay on past 25 January, when his extended term expires.

Hamas has already said it would reject the decision for a second extension. On Monday Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas member elected prime minister in 2006 and currently de facto prime minister in Gaza, said “any decision that contradicts the constitution and contradicts the will of the people, will not be binding."

Before meeting with the PLO Central Council, the president addressed the Palestinian Youth Parliament.

“We want to see you become members of the legislative council, the national council, the government, and the leadership of the Palestinian people.”

Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015