Israel’s claims that it wants to retain control over the Jordan Valley for
security reasons is a lie, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on
He reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish
Abbas’s statements were made during a meeting with Fatah leaders
The statements were published by Abbas’s office on the eve
of his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Bethlehem to discuss the
crisis in the peace talks with Israel.
Abbas said that Israel wants to
retain a presence in the Jordan Valley for economic and not security
“They [Israel] say they want to stay in the Jordan Valley for 40
years,” Abbas said.
“With 40 years in the Jordan Valley there will be no
solution. They say they need the Jordan Valley to protect themselves
against the Iranian threat or whoever comes from the eastern
Abbas said that chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat recently
accompanied 90 diplomats on a tour of the Jordan Valley where, he added, they
found only date fields, artificial lakes for alligators and poultry and turkey
farms. Abbas claimed that the alligators were being used for manufacturing shoes
“This means that the story is not one of security,” Abbas told
the Fatah leaders.
“Rather, it is a matter of investment. The Israelis
gain an annual profit of $620 million from the Jordan Valley. So the claim that
they want to protect their eastern border from Iran and others is all
Abbas revealed that the Americans had protested against Erekat’s
visit, and that he had proposed a deployment of NATO forces to the valley. He
pointed out that he had come under attack for declaring his opposition to the
presence of a single Israeli on Palestinian territories after an agreement is
reached with Israel.
“I was told that this is racist talk,” he added. “I
responded that Israelis are welcome to visit us as guests and not as occupiers
Abbas said that the peace talks with Israel have failed to
yield any result on the ground.
“There may be some tensions in the
future,” Abbas said. “The reason is that Israel is saying that it needs to
increase settlement after the release of Palestinian prisoners.
means that they are linking settlements to the release of prisoners. This
equation could lead to an explosion.The peace talks have not led to any
Abbas reiterated his opposition to demands to recognize Israel
as a Jewish state.
“We don’t accept the Jewish state or the Jewishness of
the state,” he emphasized. “This is something that we won’t accept.”
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