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Abbas: We don't want a military confrontation with Israel

Oct. 6, 2015 4:16 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 6, 2015 6:14 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian leadership said Tuesday that it wants to find a political solution to the conflict using“peaceful means and nothing else" as tensions rise across the occupied West Bank and EastJerusalemfollowing a string of killings by Israeli forces and Palestinians.

Speaking tomembersof the PLO's Executive Committee, Abbas said that Israel must stop settlement expansions and come to the negotiating table.

Israel must also fulfill its promise to release the last group of Palestinian detainees who were jailed before the Oslo Accords.

“We will then be ready to negotiate and to discuss agreements which have been missed or breached by Israel since Oslo,” he said.

The Palestinians have complied with previous accords with Israel, he added,“but we can’t continue to comply with them alone.”

"If Israel doesn’t want these agreements, we shouldn’t implement them as well. However, we are not seeking a military confrontation and we have given clear instructions to our security services, our young people and our crowds that we don’t want any escalation, but we want to protect ourselves.”

The PLO also said it "salutes the masses of Palestinians whom confronting the occupation and its continuing aggression in Jerusalem and all over the rest of the Occupied State of Palestine," a statement said, offering condolences to the families of Palestinians killed in recent clashes.

The comments from Abbas come a week after a speech at the United Nations General Assembly, where the president saidthat the Palestinian Authority will not remain committed to agreements with Israel, referring to the Oslo Accords of 1993, while violations take place on a daily basis.

While many understood the president's speech to be groundbreaking, no clear changes have been made in regards to security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel in occupied Palestinian territory.

The PA -- set up as an interim government through the Oslo Accords -- has security and administrative control over around 18 percent of the West Bank, while Israel completely controls 60 percent of the territory, referred to as Area C.

Nearly two decades later, Israeli forces regularly enter Area A and work in coordination with the PA for security activity across the rest of the territory.
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