PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
Israel initiated the recent tensions
in the Gaza Strip to distract attention from the current wave of
socio-economic protests in the country, Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas was quoted on Tuesday as saying.
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Abbas, who is
visiting Qatar, told the Doha-based Al Jazeera TV network that the
protests have stopped because of the Israeli “escalation” succeeded in
diverting attention from the weekly demonstrations.
has been witnessing real unrest and weekly demonstrations calling for
social justice,” he was quoted as saying. “These protests could have
grown had it not been for the escalation, which diverted attention from
the events. Since then, the demonstrations have stopped.”
leadership has stopped short of condemning last week’s terror attacks in
the South and the subsequent barrage of rocket and missile offensive
from the Gaza Strip.
However, the PA has strongly condemned
Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the terror attacks that killed eight Israelis.
Abbas, meanwhile, held talks in Doha with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh
Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and discussed with him the latest
developments in the region, especially the PA’s plan to ask the UN next
month to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.
Abbas was later scheduled to attend a meeting of Arab League representatives to lay the final touches on the PA’s statehood bid.
The Arab League is expected to dispatch a delegation of ministers to
hold talks with members of the UN Security Council ahead of the UN vote,
which is expected to take place next month.
Abbas also held talks in Doha on Tuesday with US Acting Assistant
Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, on the PA’s
statehood bid and the situation in the Middle East.
A PA official in Ramallah said that Abbas once again complained about
Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well
as the recent IDF “assaults” on Palestinians.