Fatah supporters take part in a rally marking the death anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in Gaza City November 11, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)
In a speech marking the 13th anniversary of former Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat’s death on Saturday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas called on members of the international community that support the two-state solution to recognize a Palestinian state.
More than 130 countries recognize the “State of Palestine,” but some of the world’s most influential countries, including the US, UK, France and Germany, have not taken such action.
“We renew our call on countries that believe in the twostate solution to recognize two states,” Abbas said in a video message to a rally of thousands of Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip. “That is,” he said, “because the two-state solution is in danger.”
Israel is building in settlements around the West Bank, where the Palestinians want to establish a state.
Abbas also reiterated that, if a Palestinian state is not created, the Palestinians would demand equal rights between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. He had made a similar comment during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
On Saturday, as well as at the UN in September, Abbas did not say how long the Palestinians would give for the two-state solution to be implemented before calling for equal rights in one state.
The PA president also said the “precise implementation” of the Egyptian-brokered deal between Hamas and Fatah to advance reconciliation efforts would alleviate the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
In October, Hamas and Fatah signed an Egypt-sponsored deal to restore the PA’s governing authority in Gaza. Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting the Fatah-dominated PA from the territory in 2007.
“The precise implementation of the agreement and completely enabling the government [to operate in Gaza] will inevitably alleviate suffering and send a message of hope for a better future for all of us,” Abbas said.
Abbas has said the implementation of the agreement means the PA will take full control of Gaza including the weapons of the different armed factions there. However, Hamas officials have rejected Abbas’s interpretation, saying those factions in Gaza will not be disarmed.