Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority’s security agencies are entering schools and searching students’ bags for knives, adding, “I’d be crazy if I told my son that stabbing someone was a good act.”
In a television interview, Abbas said: “Our security forces are entering schools and checking if students are carrying knives. In one school, we found 70 students with knives, and we told them that this was wrong. I told them I do not want you to kill someone and die; I want you to live and for others to live too.”
“When a child goes to school carrying a knife, they do not consult anyone in this regard, not even their parents. You will not find a sane person who encourages their child to carry a knife and kill someone. The parents do not want this.”
Abbas addressed Israel’s accusations that he incited violence by stressing that he continues to extend his hand to peace. “I have been ruling for 10 years, and I have always been against murder and violence. Now they are saying I am inciting violence.”
“I admit that we have incitement, but you also have incitement,” he said of Israel’s accusations of the Palestinian media inciting violence.
During his interview, Abbas called on the Israeli occupation to withdraw from Area A and continue its security cooperation with Israel, because “the alternative is chaos, weapons, explosives and armed individuals who will come from abroad.”
“I want security cooperation with Israel and I am not ashamed of this. Everyone must respect me for this because the alternative is the lack of the sense of security and hopelessness,” he explained.
The PA president stressed that he is willing to meet Netanyahu any day, anywhere, stressing that he wants peace. “I want to restore hope and I want to sit at the negotiations table,” admitting that the PA “is on the verge of collapse.”
According to Voice of Israel radio, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff responded to Abbas’s statements by saying: “Netanyahu is willing to meet with Abu Mazen at any moment, but he refuses this meeting.”