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Abbas working with Qatar to find way to push ceasefire in Gaza
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
07/20/2014
PA president looks to Qatar, Turkey to use their ties with Hamas to push a ceasefire.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held talks in Doha Sunday with the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and discussed with him ways of ending the war in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas arrived in Doha after brief visits to Egypt, Turkey and Bahrain in the context of his efforts to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Abbas was also scheduled to meet in Doha with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

Abbas is hoping that Qatar and Turkey would use their good offices with Hamas to force the movement to agree to a cease-fire with Israel.

Prior to his visit to Qatar, Abbas appealed to the international community to intervene immediately to “stop the despicable Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip,” the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Abbas also declared three days of mourning over the death of scores of Palestinians in the Shejaia neighborhood of Gaza City.

He also ordered that Palestinian flags be flown at half-mast over public buildings in mourning over the killings.

Meanwhile, the PLO called for a general strike in the Palestinian territories Monday in protest against the ongoing IDF military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The PLO urged the UN and all countries to condemn the Israeli “massacres perpetrated against our people and implement justice against Israeli war criminals.”

In Ramallah, Jenin and other Palestinian cities, Palestinians took to the streets to protest against the IDF operation. The protesters also chanted slogans calling on Hamas’ armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, to launch rocket attacks on Israel.

In the Gaza Strip, defiant Hamas leaders and spokesmen continued to issue threats to pursue attacks on Israel.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called on the PA to halt security coordination with Israel.

“How can we ask the Arab countries to side with us when the Palestinian Authority is continuing with security coordination with Israel and preventing Palestinians in the West Bank from clashing with Israel?” Abu Zuhri asked.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar called on the UN to form a commission of inquiry into Israeli “massacres” against Palestinians.
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