The Palestinian Authority won’t agree to share security powers with Hamas, PA
President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday.
His remarks came as Hamas and
Fatah representatives are set to resume reconciliation talks in Damascus on
“Everything can be shared – the Palestinian Legislative Council
and the government – except for security,” Abbas said in an interview with a
“Security can be only in the hands of one party and
one leadership. The idea of sharing security in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
is completely unacceptable.”
Abbas said Fatah would reject such an idea
if it’s raised by Hamas during next week’s discussions in Syria. He nevertheless
expressed hope that Hamas would accept an Egyptian plan for solving the
“The Egyptian document is the basis for any
reconciliation,” he said, noting that Fatah has accepted it and was ready to
Abbas said he agreed to hold the talks in Damascus despite a row
that erupted between him and Syrian President Bashar Assad at the recent Arab
summit in Libya. The Palestinians have accused Assad of “offending” Abbas by
accusing him of succumbing to Israeli and American pressure to return to the
negotiating table with Israel.
The PA president lashed out at Iran,
accusing it of meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians in a
“Iran is imposing its agenda on Hamas,” he said. “It is
also obstructing the peace process and interfering in the entire Arab region in
the Gulf, Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine.”
Asked what steps the PA would
take if the peace process failed, Abbas said that his first option was to return
to the negotiations when settlement construction stops.
option, he added, would be to go to the Americans and ask them to set a frame
for a permanent solution to all final-status issues.
If the second option
doesn’t succeed, the Palestinians would go the UN and seek recognition of a
Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, Abbas said.
However, he stressed
that the Palestinians would choose this option only as a last resort “and if all
doors are closed in our face.”
He added: “We don’t want to go the UN
Security Council and General Assembly. But if Israel insists on pursuing
settlements and rejecting negotiations, what should we do? To whom are we
supposed to go? There should be a place we could go to, which is the UN Security
Abbas denied that he had any intention of resigning from his
post. But he said that he had no plans to run again in another presidential
With regards to the possibility that he may dismantle the PA if
the peace talks fail, Abbas said: “Israel, through its daily practices and
continued occupation, may force us to take measures.”
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