VIDEO - Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas shocked the Palestinian political arena by placing an ultimatum on Palestinian organizations: If, within 10 days, the Hamas-led government does not accept the prisoners’ plan for
recognizing the '67 borders, he will pose the decision to the people in a national referendum within 40 days.
The Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem has so far refrained from giving a statement.
Abbas shocked those present for the Ramallah talks between the Palestinian factions with his declaration, and Hamas government officials were far from impressed with the call.
'We shouldn't have dialogue for the sake of dialogue'
Abbas delivered an unwritten speech, and addressing the Palestinian government, demanded, "Are slogans enough to feed the hungry? We must stop with the slogans and start dealing with reality. We must stop dreaming and accept what we can take now. Let us not speak of dreams. Let's take the Palestinian state on the '67 borders. There is a national consensus on this."
Abbas said he was opposed to leaving "a single stone of the Israeli settlements within the ‘67 borders."
The PA chairman went on to say, "We shouldn't have dialogue for the sake of dialogue. We should have dialogue to solve our problems. The Israelis are killing our people every day and now we are busy with internal divisions. We must stop this and start talking about reality."
Dr. Omar Abdel Razek, the Palestinian Finance Minister and a senior Hamas figure, told Ynet that he did not believe there would be any referendum on the plan.
"This is a technique by the president (Abbas) to pressure the Palestinians into taking part in the dialogue, so that agreements can be reached. I think we will reach agreements and there won't be a national referendum."
MK Ayalon: Olmert should cooperate with Abbas
Knesset Member Yossi Beilin (Meretz) called on Prime Minster Ehud Olmert to cooperate with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas following the ultimatum he gave to the Palestinian organizations.
"Olmert must realize that something major happened in the Palestinian leadership, and that Abbas' call to accept the prisoner's plan… obligates Israel to take up intensive negotiations immediately with the Palestinian side," Beilin said.
MK Ami Ayalon (Labor) said that the ultimatum placed by PA Chairman Abbas is a hugely important step. "Abbas is showing himself to be a real leader and is extending a hand back to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, and proving his true intentions."