Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday reaffirmed his refusal
to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
He also stressed that the
Palestinians would not accept any solution that did not include east Jerusalem
as the capital of a Palestinian state.
“We don’t love death, but we
welcome martyrdom if it happens,” Abbas declared. “We will march to Jerusalem in
the millions, as free people and heroes.”
Referring to Israeli demands to
recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said, “This is a story that we have
heard only in the last two years. We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness
of Israel. We have many excuses and reasons that prevent us from doing
Abbas was speaking during a meeting in his office with dozens of
east Jerusalem residents.
Israel’s problem is that the Palestinians know
more than the Israelis about history and geography, he said. “We talk about what
we know,” he said.
“We won’t accept the Jewishness of Israel. We are
asking for the 1967 borders.”
On the current peace talks with Israel,
Abbas said the negotiations would continue only for nine months [ending in late
April]. “After that, we are free to do what we want,” he said. “The talks are
limited to this period.”
He said that Arab League foreign ministers who
are scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry this week would tell
him that Jerusalem is the occupied capital of the State of
“Without this, there would be no solution,” Abbas
said. “No one is authorized to sign [an agreement] without
Dismissing Israel’s refusal to talk about Jerusalem, Abbas said
that without east Jerusalem being the capital of a Palestinian state there would
be no peace with Israel.
“Jerusalem is not Abu Dis,” he said, referring
to the village located on the eastern outskirts of the city – outside the
municipal boundaries. “Rather, Abu Dis is part of
Regarding the issue of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel,
Abbas said that Israel has linked this matter to settlements.
a batch of prisoners is released, they announced new housing projects,” he said.
“They say this is part of the agreement. But this is a lie. There is no
relation at all between the release of prisoners and
settlements. Settlements are illegal from the beginning to the
Abbas said that when the two sides reach an agreement, the
Palestinian lands, borders and airspace would be under full Palestinian
“We will have our own borders and we have nothing to lease,”
he explained. “No one can deceive us.”