Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks with journalists at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that the current wave of attacks against Israelis was the result of the “despair” of Palestinian youths and Israelis’ visits to the al-Aksa Mosque.
Abbas said that continued settlement construction and Israeli military checkpoints were also responsible for the habba jamahiriya (popular puff).
In a speech marking International Anti-Corruption Day in Ramallah, Abbas said he was unable to “ask the Palestinian youths why they are setting out” to attack Israelis.
Abbas, however, did outline what he thought were their grounds for violence. “They set out for several reasons,” he said, referring to the assailants behind stabbing, vehicular and shooting attacks.
“They set out because they have begun to feel desperate about the two-state solution. They wander around and see no logical basis for two states. Our state is non-existent – settlements and checkpoints. They see no solution ahead of them.”
Abbas pointed out that he was not opposed to visits to the Temple Mount that are arranged in coordination with the Wakf Islamic Trust in order to “maintain the status quo” at the holy site. He said that Israeli “assaults” against the al-Aksa Mosque have been taking place since 2000, when the late Ariel Sharon “stormed” the compound.
Abbas accused Israel of violating signed agreements with the Palestinians since 1993.
He conditioned the resumption of peace talks with Israel on a full cessation of settlement construction and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Abbas said that settler assaults against the Palestinians in the West Bank were also responsible for the current wave of attacks.
He revealed that the PA has received 400 complaints regarding corruption in its institutions. “This figure makes me happy, not because we have corruption, but because our people are keen on combating corruption,” Abbas said.