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Photo: Reuters
President Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: Reuters
Abbas' implied threat to Hamas: 'difficult decisions to be made'
The PLO's central council convenes in Ramallah to discuss 'relations with the US, Israel and Hamas,' Abbas says; he again rejects the 'deal of the century,' vowing ' the Balfour Declaration passed, this deal will not pass.'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hinted Sunday on additional steps the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council might take against Hamas.

 

 

"The period we are in is the most dangerous time for the Palestinian people. We are going to make decisions that are very important and difficult," said the Palestinian president during a rare meeting of the council in Ramallah.

 

The PLO is expected to intensify the sanctions against the Gaza Strip in order to back Hamas into a corner.

  

 (Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)
 

 

Abbas accused Hamas of serving American and Israeli interests by refusing to accept the rule of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.

 

He also rejected what he said were American and Israeli attempts to create "a mini-state in Gaza and autonomy in the West Bank."

 

"I again stress that no state will be established in Gaza, no state will be established without Gaza, and no state will be established with temporary borders. We went through a difficult time in 1984 and the PLO was on the verge of collapse. But thanks to the Palestinian people, we survived," he added.

  

Abbas insisted Palestinians had exclusive claim over Jerusalem. "They laugh at us and say 'Jerusalem is the capital of two states.' No, Jerusalem is our capital," the Palestinian president stressed, adding that "Jerusalem and Palestine are not for sale. East Jerusalem is our capital, not Abu Dis nor Qalandiya, but the territory of occupied east Jerusalem, to the very last centimeter."

 

 (Photo: AFP)
(Photo: AFP)
 

 

Abbas has boycotted Trump's administration since that December decision, though the US president's team is still expected to release a peace plan in the coming months.

 

The Palestinian leader compared the expected Trump proposal to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which saw the British government commit to the creation of a state for Jews in the Holy Land.

 

"If the Balfour Declaration passed, this deal will not pass," he pledged.

 

The US has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Palestinians, with Trump angered by Abbas's refusal to meet with him or members of his administration.

 

He has called on Abbas to negotiate, but Palestinian leaders say they are being blackmailed to accept Trump's terms, which they see as blatantly biased in favor of Israel.

 

"They are still talking about the deal of the era, and that they will present it after a month or two," Abbas added. "But what's left of the deal? You transferred the embassy to Jerusalem, you destroyed the rights of the refugees and UNRWA, and you said that there are only 40,000 refugees. Your house will be destroyed—40,000 Palestinians? In 1948, 950,000 refugees left Palestine. Today they are six million. You say 40,000? You only say this to eliminate the refugee problem."

  

Abbas called to "implement the decisions we have made in the past regarding our relations with the United States, Israel, and Hamas. We must not give in to negotiations and pressure; we are at a historic point in time."

 

He also slammed several Palestinian factions that decided to boycott the conference, calling on "everybody to unite and come together under the PLO Central Council. I turn to Hamas and say: unity is more important than what you are doing, so we can achieve our goal—the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine."  

 

AFP contributed to this story.

 


פרסום ראשון: 10.29.18, 12:48
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