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Abbas tells Biden he 'extends hand' for peace with Israel

U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) hold a joint press conference in Bethlehem, West Bank on July 15, 2022. [Palestinian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]
U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) hold a joint press conference in Bethlehem, West Bank on July 15, 2022. [Palestinian Presidency - Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, said Friday that he is ready to extend his hand to Israel to restart peace negotiations, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"The opportunity for a two-state solution on the 1967 borders may only be available today, we don't know what will happen in the future," Abbas said in a press conference, alongside US President Joe Biden in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

"I extend my hand to the leaders of Israel to make peace," he added.

Abbas called for ending the decades-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and allowing Palestinians to obtain their "legitimate rights" based on international resolutions.

The Palestinian leader said Israel can be accepted to live in peace with its neighbours in the region with the establishment of a Palestinian State.

READ: The US needs the Middle East's help to achieve global stability

Abbas also called for reopening the US Consulate in East Jerusalem and removing the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) from the US terrorist list.

"We are not terrorists," he stressed.

The Palestinian President also called for bringing the killers of Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, to accountability.

Abu Akleh, 51, a Palestinian-American journalist working for the Doha-based Al Jazeera network, was shot dead 11 May while covering an Israeli military raid near the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

While Palestinian officials and Al Jazeera accused Israel of killing the reporter, Tel Aviv denied any responsibility.

Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday on his first official trip to the Middle East region, where he pledged US protection to Israel. He is scheduled to leave for Saudi Arabia later Friday.

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