Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R).
(photo credit:Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that while negotiations with Israel are his "first, second and third option," he would resume attempts to gain recognition for a Palestinian state at the United Nations if talks were not relaunched.
In an interview with Channel 2, Abbas would not give an exact timeframe for a UN move, saying he would not like to give ultimatums, but would rather see the implementation of international resolutions and agreements he has already made with Israel.
Abbas said that negotiations hinged on the release of 123 Palestinian prisoners who have been in Israeli jails since before the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Abbas reiterated his belief that Israel's continued building in the West Bank was detrimental to the future of a two-state solution.
The PA president said that there was no chance of a third intifada breaking out even if peace talks were not resumed. He added that the Palestinians were moving forward with non-violent resistance instead.
Speaking of the rise of Islamists in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Abbas said that if the Palestinian people were to vote Islamists into power in the West Bank, he would accept the will of the people. He added that if Israel were to make peace with him, it would empower the believers in peace and decrease the likelihood of Hamas success in future elections.
The Prime Minister's Office responded to the interview, rejecting Abbas's assertions that Israel was responsible for the impasse in peace talks.
The PMO stated that "until now, Abbas has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Even after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made unprecedented steps, such as freezing construction in the settlements, Abbas kept on refusing to hold talks."
The PMO added: "Even now, Prime Minister Netanyahu calls upon President Abbas to meet soon in order to promote the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians."
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