Abbas in Greece 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday warned Israel against
launching a strike on the Gaza Strip in response to the recent spat of rocket
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“Any new Israeli aggression would put the entire peace process
in real danger,” Abbas said during a meeting in his office with the EU
representative to the Palestinian territories, Christian Berger of
An IDF operation would “lead to the collapse of all
international efforts aimed at salvaging peace,” Abbas said.
He urged the
EU to play a larger role in the Middle East peace process, “especially because
of the EU’s huge political and economic weight, which enables it to impact all
parties to back the peace process.”
The PA president also complained
about Israel’s policy of construction in settlements and east
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat expressed “deep concern and
fear” over the latest escalation along the border between Israel and the Gaza
Blaming Israel for the escalation, Erekat said it was dangerous
and had “many repercussions which make us feel very worried.”
warned Israel against launching a new “aggression” on the Gaza Strip, saying
such a move would lead to “more complications.”
He cautioned that a
military operation would “push the region toward more anarchy and
Erekat said that Israel had a strategic interest in seeing
divisions among the Palestinians continue.
He accused the government of
waging a campaign to convince the world that the PA and Abbas were not partners
for peace. The government was responsible for the failure of the peace process
because of its refusal to stop the construction in the settlements, Erekat
He also demanded clarifications from the US about a recent
WikiLeaks cable that talked about an agreement between Israel and the US
administration according to which “natural growth” in the settlements would
Hamas, meanwhile, said it would file a complaint with the UN
and the Arab League against the “recent Zionist escalation.”
government planned to contact many governments around the world to “explain the
aggressive intentions of the occupation leaders,” said Taher a-Nunu, spokesman
for the Hamas government in Gaza City.
He said Israeli threats to launch
an attack on the Gaza Strip coincided with Fatah’s continued crackdown on Hamas
supporters in the West Bank.
“Hamas is facing big challenges as the
leaders of the occupation threaten to eliminate Hamas,” he
“This is in addition to the campaign of arrests and
repression waged by Fatah security forces against the Palestinian resistance in
the West Bank.”
Nunu claimed that Fatah was holding more than 3,000 Hamas
supporters in its prisons in the West Bank. The detainees included university
lecturers, journalists and students, he said.
In a separate development,
the European Commission decided on Wednesday to provide an initial package worth
€11 million to the PA.
Catherine Ashton, the EU’s high representative for
foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement: “This decision is a
sign of the strong political and financial commitment of the European Union to
the Palestinian Authority and to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s leadership in
building a democratic and viable Palestinian state.
is critical for any peaceful, workable and lasting solution to the
In announcing the package, Stefan Füle of the Czech Republic,
the European commissioner for enlargement and neighborhood policy, said: “By
today’s decision the Commission wants to give a signal to the Palestinian people
that they can count on our continued support in 2011 as in the past.”