'We have to negotiate with the Israelis peacefully'

Abbas: We will not launch a war with Israel, peaceful negotiations part of Palestinian culture; "We are not ready to turn back to violence."

October 28, 2011 22:51
1 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations

Abbas 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

Palestinians will not launch a war against Israel if progress is not made in the peace process, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with Channel 2 on Friday night.

"We have to negotiate with the Israelis peacefully," he explained. "This is our ideology. This is our mentality. This is the culture of the Palestinians. We are not ready to turn back to violence."

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Achieving statehood at the UN will not mean that the Palestinians will not return to negotiating table with Israel, he added.

Addressing questions diplomats have raised regarding the Palestinian Authority's power in Gaza, Abbas said that the PA and Hamas have signed an agreement and are working together.

"We cannot deny that Hamas is a part of the Palestinian people," he said. "Whether they accept [Israel] or not, they are our opposition. Every country around the world has an opposition, right?"

On Thursday, Israel's ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor asked that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council and international community censure rocket attacks from Gaza.

In a letter he sent to Ban and the Security Council, Prosor wrote that a condemnation would send a forceful and clear message to the terrorists and their patrons and that Israelis deserve to hear such a condemnation.

According to Prosor, Israel considers Hamas completely responsible for the rocket fire from Gaza. While PA President Mahmoud Abbas is working to obtain Palestinian statehood at the UN, the attacks on Israel prove that it does not have authority over the area and that Hamas is the de facto ruler in Gaza, Prosor explained.

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