Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday stated that the opportunity for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians still exists, implying that the blame for the impasse in the diplomatic process lies with Israel.
"After 63 years of expulsion and the occupation of our land, the time has come for Israel to understand that our people have not forgotten and that the opportunity for a historic solution still exists," Abbas said at a press conference in Bethlehem.RELATED:Abbas: Palestinians will never neglect 'right of return'Abbas: If Palestinian state is created, I may step down
Abbas addressed the recent unity deal signed between Hamas and Fatah
, as well as Israeli claims that the agreement constituted a death blow to the peace process.
"The Israeli side used the split as an excuse not to make peace and now
it is waging a media campaign against reconciliation based on the claim
that it contradicts peace," Abbas stated.
The PA president's comments came a day after protesters commemorating Nakba Day clashed with IDF forces
in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and along the borders with Gaza, Syria and Lebanon.
In a televised address marking the Palestinian day of mourning, coinciding with the anniversary of the independence of Israel, Abbas said
that those killed in clashes with the IDF on Sunday were martyrs to the Palestinian cause.
"Their precious blood will not be wasted. It was spilt for the sake of our nation's freedom," he stated.