Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that there will be no peace with the Israeli occupation authorities without Jerusalem, nor can there be any stability in the region.
In a speech at the opening ceremony of the Fourth Jerusalem Conference on Wednesday, Abbas said: "We will not achieve security and peace with Israel without keeping Jerusalem and clinging to Palestinian national principles."
He stressed, though, that the responsibility of protecting Jerusalem is not Palestinians' alone; the Arab world and the international community should defend the Holy City, with the issue belonging to all the Arab and Islamic countries.
"Jerusalem is crying," he proclaimed, "and the million man march is the beginning of the response to the call from Al-Aqsa for victory."
The head of the Palestinian Authority called for material and moral support for the people of Jerusalem to alleviate their suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation. He reminded the audience that Israel is not only trying to prohibit Arabs and Muslims from visiting the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa but is also seeking to impose Jewish worship at the third holiest sanctuary in Islam by splitting access times for worshippers between Muslims and Jews.
In a related context, Abbas said that the PA seeks to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, and called on the Islamic Resistance Movement to accelerate its implementation. However, he stressed that it cannot be achieved without democracy and a new election. The people, he added, should have the opportunity to elect their representatives.