Abbas: No peace talks until Israel freezes settlement construction

Peace talks will not resume until Israel completely freezes construction in settlements, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Thursday. "Fatah totally rejects any attempt to establish a temporary Palestinian state," added Abbas during a Ramallah press conference, saying that in order to resume peace negotiations, both sides must abide by their Road Map commitments. Abbas also referred to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel saying that "emptying the jails in Israel of all Palestinian prisoners is a test of the seriousness of the peace process." The PA president rejected claims of fraud in this week's election for the Fatah Central Committee. "The elections of the Fatah leadership were democratic and transparent, and those who lost can still get a role in the party," he said. He repeated his remarks from the recent Fatah General Assembly that the Palestinians had a right to actively resist the occupation, but he added that this must be done according to international criteria. "We have the right to legitimate resistance that international law gives every nation fighting an occupation and aspiring for independence," he said. "We won't change our demands to put an end to the occupation of all lands taken since 1967, and the establishment of a Palestinian state on all our national land, whose capital is east Jerusalem."