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Abbas vows to continue UN bid for status upgrade
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
11/18/2012
PA president claims Pillar of Defense was aimed at thwarting Palestinian effort.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed Friday that the IDF military offensive against the Gaza Strip was aimed at thwarting his plan to ask the UN General Assembly to upgrade the status of a Palestinian state to non-member.

Abbas and other senior PA officials have thus far refrained from holding Hamas responsible for the latest round of violence, as they had done in the past. Instead, the PA leadership has directed all its criticism toward Israel.

“All what Israel is doing is aimed at hindering our effort at the UN,” Abbas said in a televised speech. He was speaking shortly after returning to Ramallah from Switzerland.

“But we are going on November 29 to the UN to obtain the status of non-member and no one could stop under any circumstances.”

Abbas also accused Israel of pursuing a scheme to “destroy the Palestinian national project.”

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Abbas said that the current Israeli “aggression against the Palestinian people and the ongoing settlement construction show that Israel continues to deny the rights of our people.”

Israel, he added, must understand that without peace no one would be able to live in security. Abbas also warned Israel against “perpetrating more massacres against the Palestinians.”

Abbas said that he has asked the Arab League to dispatch a ministerial delegation to the Gaza Strip to express solidarity with the Palestinians there.

Abbas revealed that he had tried several times to phone Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to talk to him about the situation in the Gaza Strip, but to no avail.

Abbas, meanwhile, met in Ramallah Saturday with Egyptian envoy Yasser Othman and discussed with him the latest developments.

During the meeting, Abbas praised Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil for visiting the Gaza Strip on Friday and urged Cairo to pursue its efforts to achieve a cease-fire with Israel.

Ahmed Assaf, a Fatah spokesman in the West Bank, said that Abbas’s insistence on pursuing the statehood bid was a “victory for the blood of the Palestinian martyrs.”

Assaf said that the application to the UN later this month was also designed to foil Israel’s plot to “Judaize our land, eliminate our presence in Jerusalem and destroy our national cause.”

In a separate development, Abbas’s Fatah militiamen announced Saturday that they would participate in the fighting alongside Hamas and other armed groups if the IDF invades the Gaza Strip.

Abu Ahed, spokesman for Fatah’s armed wing, Aksa Martyrs Brigades, called on the Israeli public to “topple” the government of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

The spokesman claimed that Netanyahu was waging war on the Gaza Strip to improve his chances of winning the upcoming general election in Israel. The Fatah spokesman threatened to turn the Gaza Strip into a “cemetery for Israeli soldiers.”
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