Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at opening meeting of Arab Summit.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab League summit meeting in Egypt on Saturday that the Israeli-Palestinian relationship cannot carry on as is, since Israel has meddled with the PA's powers and responsibilities, the Ma'an news agency reported Sunday.
Abbas focused on Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenues - funds that have been frozen since this past January in protest of the PA's formal application for membership in the International Criminal Court on behalf of the "State of Palestine".
Some NIS 500 million have been withheld from the Palestinian Authority due to the move. Yet after months of freezing tax revenues, Israel announced Friday that it would release the money to the interim government in Ramallah.
Abbas spoke against the normalization of relations with Israel, saying that the PA is "looking forward to activating an Arab financial security net," in place of the status quo.
He said that Palestinians were in the process of “reevaluating economic, political and security ties with Israel,” and vowed to hold Palestinian Authority elections “as soon as possible” in order to initiate the process of rebuilding the Gaza Strip.
Fourteen Arab presidents, kings, and emirs were present at the Arab League summit, witness to Abbas' speech.
The summit is set to run through Sunday and cover 11 issues, according to Ma'an, including discussions on the establishment of a joint Arab force, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and recent developments in conflicted Middle Eastern nations.
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