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Abbas: Israel must make its borders clear

Aug. 28, 2014 9:13 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2014 10:14 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday demanded Israel makes its borders known and blasted Hamas for maintaining a "parallel" government in Gaza, in a televised interview he gave regarding current political developments.

Abbas said in the interview that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and the only thing left to negotiate was the exact borders.

"We will not go into a discussion about area A, B, and C. We need each state to finally determine their borders. Israel is the only state in the world with no known borders," he said in a televised interview.

He added that chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and intelligence chief Majid Farraj will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry next week to discuss negotiations.

"We are willing to wait a day, a week or a month," Abbas said, "but not 20 more years."

"If they agree, we will be free with our borders. We will not accept that Israel launches a war against us every two years," he added, promising that if Israel refused he would be ready to respond.

"We will not forgive and Israel will not get away with its crimes. We have a lot of ways and tools to ensure that criminals don't get away with their crimes," he added.

"The Israeli assault wanted a chance to kill and destroy," he said. "The occupation wishes to close its eyes and re-open them to find no Palestinians in sight."

Abbas added that the decision for war or peace must be in the hands of the Palestinian leadership alone.

"I've been insisting on elections for seven years and we will not accept anything but one authority and one rifle. The decision about peace and war is in the hands of the (Palestinian) Authority or otherwise it will be chaos."

On internal issues, Abbas said that the continuation of a parallel Hamas government despite an April national unity agreement was threatening the reconciliation.

"Hamas has a shadow government in Gaza, they have undersecretaries for ministries, and if that continues it will put the national unity at risk," he said.

"I know that ending the division is not quick and needs months, but we will know from the first day that the aid arrives to Gaza if it reaches the people or not," he added.

"Will the unity government be able to rule and operate in Gaza or will there parties that impede it?" he asked, citing an incident where PA ministry of health officials were attacked after entering Gaza.

Abbas also criticized the recent spate of public executions of alleged collaborators with Israel in Gaza, saying they are "criminal" and claiming that Hamas judged and executed on its own without consulting anyone.

He added that he spoke to Khalid Meshaal about Fatah and other faction leaders under house arrest, as well as a series of recent incidents in which the PA alleges dissidents had their legs shot.

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