(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday warned that if Israel does not
cancel plans to stop the flow of tax funds to the PA, it will pursue a
United Nations resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood before its
planned date in September, perhaps in May.
RELATED:Zahar: Hamas will never recognize
IsraelCarter: Palestinian unity will help bring
peacePM lands in London to lobby against Fatah-Hamas
"September is the ninth
month, if the extortion continues, we will file a request with the UN
during the fifth or sixth month of the year," Abbas said in a speech
given during the signing of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal in Cairo.
Abbas, who heads Fatah, and senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal earlier Wednesday endorsed a deal to end a four-year rift.
Mashaal spoke at the Cairo ceremony, saying:
"We are prepared to pay any price for reconciliation."
"The only campaign we have is against Israel," he
added. "We want an independent, sovereign Palestinian state in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip."
In response to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz withholding tax revenues to the PA, Abbas said: "Are you punishing us for unity? We did not break Israeli law. We did not attack Israelis like they attack us."
On Sunday, the PA warned that it would not be able to pay
salaries to its civil servants because of the government’s decision to
temporarily halt the transfer of millions of dollars in tax revenue.
Khaled Abu Toameh and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.