'Pressure Israel.' Abbas
Photo: AFP

Abbas to Arab summit: Israel chose settlement instead of peace

Palestinian president says Authority closely following 'rise of extremist forces' in Israel, adding 'construction of racist wall turned the lives of West Bank's residents into living hell'

"Our experience in the aftermath of the Annapolis conference has proven that Israel is still a ways off from abandoning its settlement policy and choosing the path of peace," Mahmoud Abbas said Monday.


Speaking at the Arab summit in Doha, Qatar the Palestinian president said that at the same time it was conducting negotiations on a permanent peace agreement Israel "continued to establish facts on the ground in accordance with its ambitions of expansion."


Abbas said "the construction of the "racist wall (security barrier), the Israeli blockade, the Judaizing of Jerusalem and the imprisonment of 11,000 Palestinians have turned the lives of the West Bank's residents into a living hell."


Turning his attention to Israel's recent military offensive in Gaza, the Palestinian leader said the IDF employed "every one of its war machines against helpless civilians," and accused Israel of destroying thousands of homes, schools and mosques.


"This criminal war proved that the Israeli government has chosen the path of aggression and settlement instead of peace," he said.


As for Benjamin Netanyahu's incoming government, Abbas said the Palestinian Authority was closely following "the rise of extremist forces" in Israel, and stated once again that adopting the Arab peace initiative was the only way of achieving peace in the region.


"I suggest that with the conclusion of this summit we begin talks with the representatives of the Mideast Quartet (US, Russia, UN and EU), particularly with Barack Obama's administration, and demand that they pressure Israel into choosing the path of peace," Abbas said. 


פרסום ראשון: 03.30.09, 19:03
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