Abbas: Israel striving for West Bank status quo

PA president decries continued settlement building; Fayyad says Jordan Valley "not for rent or trade."

April 16, 2012 19:15
1 minute read.

Mahmoud Abbas 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Sunday that dismantling the PA was not an option. He also dismissed calls for halting security coordination between the PA and Israel.

Abbas, who was speaking to Palestinian journalists accompanying him on a visit to Thailand and Japan, said that "while there many reasons why the Palestinian Authority was being weakened, dissolving it is not an option."

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Abbas dismissed as 'cheap bidding" demands by Hamas and some Palestinian groups to halt security coordination between the PA and Israel.

"When we have security, this is in our interest," Abbas said. "Security coordination is not for one side only, but also for Palestinian territories. We are keen on security coordination because we want security for Palestinians."

Abbas accused Israel of making the two-state solution impossible by pursuing construction in the settlements. "But as far as we are concerned, the two-state solution remains the first and final option. Settlements are illegal and they will remain illegal."

Abbas blamed the Arab countries for the severe financial crisis facing the PA. He noted that the Arabs have yet to fulfill their financial promises to support the Palestinians.

Abbas's comments about security coordination with Israel drew sharp criticism from Hamas, whose spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, accused the PA of providing Israel with security services for free.

"Continued security coordination poses a grave threat to the Palestinian cause and the interests of the Palestinians," Abu Zuhri charged, urging Abbas to halt the coordination with Israel.

Meanwhile, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Monday that the Jordan Valley was an integral part of the Palestinian territories.

"The Jordan valley is not for rent or trade," Fayyad declared during a ceremony inaugurating a water dam in the Jericho area. "There will be no Palestinian state without the Jordan valley," Fayyad emphasized. "The same as there will be no state without the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem as its capital."

He said that the PA government would continue to fund various projects in Area C of the West Bank despite Israeli "arbitrary measures aimed at squeezing Palestinians out of the area."

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