Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, October 11.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that he would hand over control of the PA to Hamas if the movement wins a future election.
Abbas told an Egyptian TV station that he was prepared to cede control to Hamas as he did in 2006, when the Islamist movement won the Palestinian legislative election.
Abbas said the despite its victory, Hamas then staged a coup against the Palestinian government, resulting in a seven-year blockade on the Gaza Strip.
“The only solution to the situation in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories is holding fair and transparent elections in order to complete the process of reconciliation [with Hamas],” he said.
Abbas, 79, said he had no intention to seek reelection, saying it was time for him to relax after 55 years of public work.
“I need to rest,” he added.
“I will get this if I stay away from the presidency. But I can’t stay away from the Palestinian cause.”
Abbas reiterated his opposition to an armed struggle against Israel, saying this would not be useful.
“We won’t accept the status quo,” he said. “But this does not mean that we should resort to an armed struggle, which I completely reject.
“The armed struggle wouldn’t be beneficial in anything; the proof is the last wars between Israel and Hamas. Israel destroys and Palestine builds before Israel destroys again.”