(photo credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called for an
emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss “halting Israeli
aggression” on the Gaza Strip.
The appeal came as PA officials claimed
that Israel was stepping up its attacks on the Gaza Strip in a bid to thwart the
September statehood bid and avoid the internal economic and social
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Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that Abbas has asked
the PA envoy to the UN, Riad Mansour, to move quickly to seek an emergency
meeting of the Security Council.
Erekat said that the PA wants the
Security Council to “halt Israeli aggression and grave escalation which claimed
the lives of scores of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”
Abbas met in his
office in Ramallah with the Egyptian envoy to Ramallah, Yasser Othman, and
discussed with him the latest developments in the Gaza Strip.
expressed concern that the latest escalation would undermine the prospects of
peace in the region, a PA official in Ramallah said.
The Egyptian envoy
said that his country was making “big efforts” to restore calm out of concern
for stability in the region, the official said.
The envoy also urged
Israel to stop its attacks on the Gaza Strip so as to enable the Palestinian
factions to reciprocate by halting their attacks, the official
Senior PA officials accused Israel over the weekend of escalating
tensions in the region to thwart the PA leadership’s plan to ask the UN next
month to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.
is preparing for war to distract attention from the Palestinian Authority’s plan
for September,” said Mohammed Subh, the PA envoy to the Arab League.
said that Arab League representatives would hold a meeting on Sunday to discuss
the repercussions of Israel’s “assault” on Palestinian and Egyptian
“We have been expecting such an aggression,” Subh said. “We
were expecting Israel to intensify tensions in the region as we approached the
September deadline. Israel is seeking to create mayhem in the
Subh claimed that in the past Israel resorted to creating
tensions or initiating wars each time it faced a political crisis to distract
attention from other issues.
Nimer Hammad, a senior adviser to Abbas,
accused Israel of perpetrating “crimes” against the Palestinians “because of its
Referring to recent protests in Israel over high
costs of living, Hammad said: “The Israeli government is trying, through this
new aggression, to avoid internal pressure because of the
Abbas’s Fatah faction, meanwhile, said that its men
would participate in defending the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip against
“This is a premeditated and programmed aggression
aimed at avoiding the internal crisis in Israel,” Fatah’s spokesman Fayez Abu
Aitah charged. He also claimed that the Israeli attacks were designed to foil
unity between Hamas and Fatah.
“Fatah will be at the forefront of the
forces defending the Palestinians with all available means,” he added. “We will
fully support the people in their resistance against this aggression.”