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Abbas: We don’t reject negotiations with Israel

March 23, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership at his compound in the West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

We have never rejected political negotiations with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters in a press conference in Ramallah with his Bulgarian counterpart, Rumen Radev, Abbas stressed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has always been ready to take part in negotiations with Israel, warning that “it [PA] won’t accept solutions outside the framework of international legitimacy”.

“We want a two-state solution — an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” The Times of Israel quoted Abbas as saying.

“This city, East Jerusalem, should be open to all religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, which will practice their religious rituals freely,” he explained.

Addressing the internal issues with Hamas, the Palestinian president noted that “they [Hamas] must immediately hand over everything, first and foremost security, to the Palestinian Authority,” referring to the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas that was signed in Cairo in October 2017.

Read: Abbas is tool for ‘Deal of the Century,’ says ex-official

“If Hamas does not hand over everything to the national unity government, it will bear the consequences for failing the Egyptian efforts to achieve reconciliation,” he warned.

Last week, Abbas decided to take “national, legal and economic measures” against Gaza following an assassination attempt against the PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza. Abbas held Hamas responsible for the attack.

Read: Gaza security kill suspected attacker of Hamdallah convoy