Mahmoud Abbas (Archives)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that the Palestinians' goals for the peace talks with Israel will remain unchanged, regardless of the makeup of the governing coalition in the Jewish state.
Addressing the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Abbas stipulated that the negotiations must achieve a settlement construction moratorium, secure the release of prisoners and address other core issues, including Jerusalem and the refugees.
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Abbas further blasted Israel for imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip and accused the Jewish state of subjecting the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to racist policies by razing homes, confiscating land and falsely arresting thousands.
"Just like you fought and defeated the apartheid regime on your continent, so are we fighting the Israeli apartheid," he said at the conference. "We are determined to defeat it."
Concluding his address, Abbas stressed that the Palestinians do not seek to delegitimize Israel – only the settlements and the "occupation." He listed the Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state within the '67 borders and the resumptions of the negotiations as the basis for the two-state solution.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization's central council, said last week that Abbas intends to invite the new Knesset members who were elected last week to meet him in Ramallah.
A Palestinian source who is familiar with the details told Ynet that Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who won a surprising 19 Knesset seats in the elections, will be the first to receive an invitation to Ramallah, "along with new Knesset members from Labor, Meretz and even some Likud Knesset members."
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