Global terrorism will end if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday as he condemned all forms of such violence.
“We are against terrorism in whatever form it may take and whoever carries it out,” he said as he delivered a long address before the European Parliament in Brussels. Palestinians stand with the Europeans in their fight against terrorism, Abbas said.
His statement was greeted by strong applause from the politicians in the room.
“In order to overcome terrorism, we also need to end Israeli occupation by creating a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas said. He spoke in Arabic and his words were translated into English by the EU.
The absence of a two-state solution, he said, would give “pretext to those who commit terrorism in the name of religion.”
However, he said, “once this occupation ends, those pretexts will disappears and extremism will be over as will terrorism.” “There will be no more terrorism in the Middle East nor elsewhere in the world,” Abbas said.
His speech did not touch on Palestinian terrorism against Israelis, including the shooting attack in which two Palestinian terrorists killed four Israelis as they sat in a Tel Aviv Cafe in the Sarona Market area earlier this month.
He did however accuse Israel of massacring Palestinians and other atrocities against his people. He also alleged that rabbis had encouraged Israelis to poison the Palestinian water supply.
“Certain rabbis in Israel have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed. That is provocation and we are against this sort of call for violence,” Abbas said.
Even Israelis themselves acknowledge their country’s injustice, Abbas said. Some Israeli politicians, such as Opposition leader Issac Herzog, former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and former prime minister Ehud Barak, have criticized their own governments, Abbas said. Journalists have also spoken up on behalf of the Palestinians, Abbas said.
“All these people, Israelis, are now saying that the Israeli government’s behavior is fascist and racist, and I’m quoting them here,” Abbas said.
He outlined for the European parliamentarian his vision for a peace deal.
The borders of the two-state solution should be at the pre-1967 lines with a just negotiated solution for Palestinian refugees, Abbas said.
He is not opposed to limited “land swaps” of equal value, Abbas added.
The Palestinians, he said, support a new French initiative which calls for an international peace conference later in the year that would then set the parameters for renewed negotiations with Israel.
Any such talks must have a timeline, Abbas said. There also needs to be monitoring mechanism to insure compliance with any agreements that come out of that conference, he said.
The Palestinian president called on the EU to help his people recognize their right to self-determination by achieving statehood.
“Provisional solutions are a complete waste of time. We do not accept a Palestinian state with provisional borders,” Abbas said. “We want peace for everyone in our region.”
Should the 2002 Arab peace initiative be used as a basis for a peace process, it should not be amended, Abbas said.
Abbas was in Brussels at the same time as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.The Palestinian president rejected an EU proposal
to meet with Rivlin.
But he spoke to the Israeli public from the podium at the European Parliament.
“Our hands are extended with a desire for peace,” Abbas said.
“We have the political will to achieve peace and we ask you [Israelis], do you have the same political will to achieve peace and to acknowledge the historic injustice your state has exacted on our country,” Abbas said.
“Our history has been frankly one of a continued existence in this territory since the dawn of civilization until now,” he said.
“Peace is in everyone’s interest and I hope that you, Israelis, neighbors, believe in that too. “Let us build a peace, which does not involve hegemony or colonization or aggression,” Abbas said. There should be “peace and coexistence on the basis of justice, law, respect and dignity for all parties involved on an equal footing,” Abbas said.
“That peace will be a genuine guarantee of security, stability and a promising future for our generations to come,” he added.
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