Abbas accuses Israel of 'destructive' J'lem plan

At Arab summit, PA president says "occupation is systematically and continuously working toward Judaizing e. Jerusalem.”

March 26, 2013 20:25
1 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas looks at Arab League summit, Doha

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at Arab League summit, Doha. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused Israel of carrying out a “destructive” plan against Jerusalem and urged the Arab and Islamic countries to work toward preventing it from implementing its scheme.

Abbas’s accusation came during a speech he delivered at the Arab summit in Doha, Qatar.

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“The Israeli occupation is systematically and continuously working toward judaizing east Jerusalem,” Abbas told the Arab heads of state.

He said that Israel was also seeking to change the character of the city, expel its Arab residents and assault Islamic and Christian holy sites.

Abbas urged the Arabs and Muslims to go to the United Nations and other international organizations to stop Israel from pursuing its “destructive scheme.”

He also sought their help in putting pressure on Israel to release Palestinian prisoners, whom he described as “brave.”

The prisoners were being subjected to “grave violations,” he said.

Abbas hailed Qatar’s announcement that it would establish a special fund for Jerusalem with a $1 billion budget to support the Arab residents of the city and foil Israel’s attempts to “judaize” east Jerusalem.

He told the summit that during his recent meeting with US President Barack Obama in Ramallah, they discussed all the final-status issues.

Abbas quoted Obama as stressing that the US was resolved to achieve a two-state solution through negotiations.

“We reiterated to Obama our commitment to the twostate solution on the basis of the 1967 borders and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002,” Abbas said. “We also emphasized that halting settlement construction and releasing Palestinian prisoners were not Palestinian preconditions, but Israeli obligations in accordance with signed agreements and the road map.”

A government official responded to Abbas’s statements by saying Israel was working very hard with the US, especially with Secretary of State John Kerry, to try to find a way to resume direct talks with the Palestinians.

“That is our goal,” the official said. “Obviously a more constructive approach from the Palestinians would be conducive to those goals.”

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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