Abbas: Any who relinquish Jerusalem as Palestinian capital is a 'traitor'

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January 24, 2016 18:18

Palestinian Authority president reiterates opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, 48 hours after meeting with group of Israeli journalists.

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Abbas

Abbas

Anyone who gives up Jerusalem is a traitor and there will be no Palestinian state without the city as its capital, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said.

He also reiterated his opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

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Abbas was speaking during a meeting with Palestinian journalists in his office on Saturday night. It came 48 hours after he held a similar meeting with a group of Israeli journalists.

He said the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders was “inevitable,” adding that the Palestinians would remain steadfast on their lands despite the challenges.

The Palestinian Authority leader said Palestinian diplomatic efforts were continuing to convene an international peace conference. He said the Arab countries supported the efforts.

He said the Palestinian leadership would go to the UN Security Council in a bid to halt construction in the settlements.

Abbas noted that the move would be coordinated with Arab foreign ministers.

“We won’t agree to continue implementing the signed agreements with Israel if it continues to ignore these agreements,” he said. “Also, we won’t accept any temporary agreements that do not comply with our legitimate rights.”

Abbas said he remains committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 liners with east Jerusalem as its capital. “Anyone who accepts a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital is a traitor,” he added.

The 80-year-old reiterated his readiness to resume peace talks with Israel once there is a cessation of settlement construction and more Palestinian prisoners are released from Israeli prisons. “We don’t want negotiations for the sake of negotiations,” he said. Abbas cautioned once again against turning the conflict into a religious one.

“Despite what Israel is doing, we continue to extend our hand for making peace,” Abbas told the journalists. “We reject any and all forms of extremism.”

Abbas voiced support for the “peaceful, popular uprising,” which, he stressed, should remain peaceful “to prevent the occupation from cold-bloodedly killing our children.”

Abbas defended security coordination between Israel and the PA security forces. He said the Palestinian security forces’ mission was to maintain security. Anyone who acts against security would be arrested, he said.

“The security forces want to protect the Palestinians,” the PA president said. “These forces are operating on my orders and I won’t allow anyone to drag me to a battle that I don’t want.”


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