Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that the peace process with Israel is "clinically dead", a situation for which he blames the Israelis. "The ball is now in their court," he said. "We have fulfilled our commitments, a fact which is recognised by countries worldwide."
Abbas made his comments at the Third International Islamic Conference on Jerusalem held in Ramallah. He told the audience that if it wasn't for the steadfastness of Jerusalem's people in defence of its Arab identity, there would be an even more painful reality. "The Islamic and Christian sanctities cry to God every day to lift the occupation," the president said. "The Israeli occupation desecrates them every moment and protects the settlers who desecrate them."
Insisting that the people of Jerusalem need continuous support to enable them to cope with the Israelis' Judaisation policies in the city, Abbas stressed that Israel actually rejects the notion of Palestinians being on their own land. "Israel is fighting our presence with all its power and arrogance. Our identity, heritage and culture are all at risk as Israel attacks Palestinians humanity with murders and arrests." Such inhumanity towards the Palestinians, claimed Abbas, extends to holding on to Palestinian bodies for decades. President Abbas renewed his call to Palestine's friends in all parts of the world to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, both of whom, he said, "complain to God about being abandoned and the pain of being away from loved ones".
With regards to national reconciliation, Abbas said, "The election is the basis of reconciliation, and if it is approved, and its time is approved as well, there will be a transitional government of independents and national figures for a period of time of no more than a few months through which the elections will be conducted."