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Abbas says planning to announce 'unconventional solution' to Israeli-Arab conflict
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
08/24/2014
Palestinian Authority president says will discuss diplomatic and political proposals with leaders in Ramallah before presenting ideas to US.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to announce an “unconventional solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the coming weeks.

He spoke of his diplomatic initiative on Saturday in Cairo during an interview with the Egyptian TV station Balad, but did not provide details about the proposed solution.

Abbas said he would discuss it, however, with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah this week before presenting it to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“It will be an unconventional solution, but I’m not going to declare war on Israel,” Abbas said. “I have diplomatic and political solutions.”

He said he did not expect the US to accept his new initiative.

“I don’t think they will comply, but we are going to go forward and tell them this is our position,” Abbas said, referring to the US administration.

“When we went to the United Nations [to seek recognition of a Palestinian state], the US objected. They were also against us going to the Security Council, General Assembly and 15 international treaties and conventions.”

Abbas said although he respects that the US “is a superpower and rules the world, there are issues where I can’t appease America despite my keenness to preserve our relationship. America helps us, but this does not mean that it has the right to hold hostage my decision.”

Abbas expressed hope that other Arab countries would support his initiative notwithstanding US opposition.

“In the end, our Arab brothers will go with us,” he added.

A PA official in Ramallah said Abbas’s initiative envisages ending Washington’s monopoly over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by inviting involvement from other parties, including the United Nations. The official said the initiative seeks to internationalize the conflict so that Israel would come under heavy pressure to force it to comply with all UN resolutions pertaining to the problem.

The Palestinian daily al-Quds quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Abbas’s new initiative calls for “ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

The initiative, it said, calls for launching serious negotiations to achieve this goal. If the initiative is not accepted, the report added, Abbas will ask the UN Security Council to intervene and impose a solution on the basis of “international legitimacy.”

The sources said Abbas would dissolve the Palestinian Authority if the US vetoes his initiative at the Security Council. They pointed out that Abbas’s initiative has won the backing of the Russians, Europeans and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Meanwhile, Abbas left Cairo on Sunday and headed back to Ramallah following talks with Sisi on ways of ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas also met with Arab League Secretary- General Nabil Elaraby during his visit.

The Palestinian Authority resumed its security crackdown in the West Bank on Sunday of supporters of the Islamist movement after a lull during the war in the Gaza Strip, Hamas reported.

According to the terrorist organization, PA security forces targeted 34 men in the West Bank between August 16 and 22. The report said 17 Hamas supporters were arrested during raids on their homes, or after being summoned for interrogation.

Another seven Hamas supporters were arrested while participating in protests that took place in the West Bank during the same period against the war.

Palestinian Authority security forces arrested one man from his place of work and it was claimed that the circumstances surrounding the arrest of five others remained unclear. Among those arrested by PA security forces were three university students, a journalist and several ex-prisoners who had been held in Palestinian jails, the Hamas report said.
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