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Abbas: Israeli settlements, tax seizure require new position
Published Sunday 09/12/2012 (updated) 10/12/2012 15:15
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas told an Arab League meeting on Sunday that if Israel continues to build settlements and seize Palestinian tax revenues he will take a "new position" in response.

He made the comments during a speech before the Arab League's Ministerial Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative in Doha, official PA news agency Wafa said, but did not elaborate on new measures or policies he was considering.

Israel's government last week announced settlement expansion projects and seized November tax payments to pay the PA after the UN General Assembly voted to admit Palestine as a non-member observer state.

Abbas told the meeting in Doha on Sunday that a major motive behind the UN bid was to halt Israeli assaults against Palestinians.

He slammed Israel's decision to withhold tax owed to his government. "Whenever it is upset with anybody in the world, Israel withholds Palestinian money, and they don’t have a right to do that," he said.

The president also emphasized the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative, introduced by Saudi Arabia in 2002 and approved at several regional summits.

"The initiative actually cornered both Israel and the Western world by simply accepting that if Israel withdraws from Arab and Palestinian lands, all 57 Arab and Islamic countries will normalize relations with Israel," Abbas said.

He pledged to make reconciliation with Hamas a top priority, and said the next step was for the Hamas government to allow the elections commission to resume preparations in Gaza for a national vote.

Abbas also referred to efforts to write a Palestinian constitution. "We have a semi-project and when we finish it we hope to learn your evaluation of this constitution before we announce it," he told the meeting.
1 ) AKeenReader / UK
09/12/2012 17:56
The PA should now take the coward Israeli govt to the ICC. They are committing crimes against humanity with their actions. the sooner the better and no need to worry about what US (Israels puppet) will do. These govts only attack those countries who are unable to defend itself but not countries who stand up to them like IRAN. Arabs should take note of Iranian apporach to bureaurocratic states like Israel & Western states.

2 ) Todos / USA
09/12/2012 21:41
I think Abbas is more scared of the ICC then israel

3 ) shirley / australia
09/12/2012 22:07
arab countries have stiid up to US luke egypt opening gaza for full people movement and AL gulf states backing UNESCO bid ant aking pals to UN last yr and UGA this yr without them no upgrade and money last yr saUDI 1 billion to PA for UN BID arbs have resisted and giviing ASSAD peace plan has boughtASSAd lot of time ABBASS needs to stop harping elections to please WEST and start joining uN bodies and Geneva convention and how to dismantle wall he is stallingand chasing Countries not friendly

4 ) EE / UK
09/12/2012 23:40
What is this new position - may be missionary? Will it require any money from donor countries and international community? It is interesting talking topic - please ask Abbas to clarify those new positions. We did not know that there can be anything new in it.

5 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
10/12/2012 03:20
@ 1), First, let the Palestinians take us to the ICC; we don't give a damn. Second, don't ever make the stupid mistake that just because Iran has its missiles/other military alliances (Hamas/Hezbollah) and is "standing up" to us we wouldn't confront/attack it if truly necessary. I assure you we would. That's true no matter what adversarial nation would "copy" Iran's approach. Separately, I've said repeatedly we are very STUPID and WRONG for withholding PA tax revenues and will (cont.)

6 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
10/12/2012 03:30
probably relent. Abbas is right in this case. Doing this always backfires on us like hell despite debts owed to us. We're the ones who made the electricity provision arrangements in the first place; we must work with the PA on recovering bill payments, not against it. The Arab (Saudi Arabian) Peace Initiative is dead. Could have worked 45 damn years ago, sure as hell not now. With $100 million per MONTH pledged to the PA from the Arab nations (since March) and $400 million to Gaza (cont.)

7 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
10/12/2012 03:47
from Qatar {Source: MNA ["Arab states to provide PA with $100 million monthly" (updated) 09/12/2012]}--if the damn money ever GETS there--the PA should focus on THAT and FORGET about the API. We weren't cornered; we simply say--like we did in 2002--45 damn years later to hell with it. The really BIG news here is: Abbas has a semi-project for getting a Palestinian constitution ??? ... Please, I've busted my guts laughing like hell before regarding Palestinian "unity"; I can't do it again.

8 ) Julia / iceland
10/12/2012 11:56
Funny, it seems like Palestine will beat Israel setting themselves a constitution. In some aspect I think Palestine, through its struggle for human rights, has become more of a state than Israel. In some sense Palestine also appears to have more developed civil society despite economic hardship - Israelis really just build themselves a gigantic military base.

9 ) The mind / boggles
11/12/2012 21:11
"he will take a 'new position' in response."

Would someone get him a new speech writer. The imagined possibilities of what that 'position' could look like are horrendous.

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