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Abbas: I prevented intifada during Gaza war

Dec. 22, 2009 10:40 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2010 7:12 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published on Tuesday that he stopped a third Palestinian intifada from occurring during the Israeli offensive against Gaza last winter

Speaking to New York’s Wall Street Journal, Abbas also said he would not allow another uprising to take place as long as he stays in office.

“I will not allow a new intifada. As long as I'm in office, I will not allow anybody to start a new intifada. Never never. But if I leave, it's no longer my responsibility and I can't make any guarantees. It could happen,” he said.

“It's not my business to follow up. I promise and I can do. And I already promised and I did during the invasion of Gaza. At that time everybody asked me to go to a third intifada, but I prevented anybody from doing it.”

In the interview he also denied reports that the CIA is working closely with PA security forces who torture detainees.

The issue resurfaced last Thursday in an article in the UK daily The Guardian, which reported that, according to western diplomats and other officials, the CIA seemed to be supervising the work of the Preventive Security Organization (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI).

“We have no relationship with the CIA at all. We have a relationship with the State Department. The State Department sends us some Americans to train and rebuild the Palestinian security apparatuses. That's it,” Abbas was quoted as saying.

“There is US training of our forces,” he said, “We don't deny that at all. But not just American. Russia, and Jordan and France and many countries help in training us. And [US security coordinator Kieth] Dayton's team is from a number of countries, not just America. America gives us nothing but training,”

The Guardian’s report also quoted PA officials reporting that between 400 and 500 Hamas are held by the security forces.

At least three detainees died in PA custody in 2009.
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