Abbas: Israel seeks to start a third intifada

Members of Fatah's armed wing say they are waiting for a "green light" from Abbas to "respond to Israeli crimes."

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN 370 (R) (photo credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN 370 (R)
(photo credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters)
Israel bears full responsibility for the current tensions in the West Bank because of its use of lethal force against demonstrators, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday.
Meanwhile, members of Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, told reporters in Hebron that they are waiting for a “green light” from Abbas to “respond to Israeli crimes.”The gunmen spoke to reporters during the funeral of prisoner Maissara Abu Hamdiyeh, who died on Tuesday of cancer.
Addressing Fatah leaders in Ramallah, Abbas said that Israel was “apparently seeking to create confusion and chaos in the Palestinian territories.”
Referring to the killing of two Palestinian teenagers near Tulkarm earlier Thursday, Abbas asked: “How can peaceful demonstrations lead to the death of two martyrs and before that others? Allah knows what is going on.”
Abbas said that Israel’s actions show that it wants a “security escalation” in the Palestinian territories. “If Israel really cared about security, it would not be using lethal force against demonstrators,” he added.
He said that Israel alone bears full responsibility for what is happening today and what will happen in the future. “Apparently Israel wants a third intifada,” Abbas continued. “They want to avoid fulfilling their obligations. They are apparently not interested, as a matter of principle, in any step toward peace.”
Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a top aide to Abbas, said that Palestinian “sacrifices would only increase our people’s resolve and adherence to their just national rights.” Palestinians, he stressed, would never give up one inch of their lands.
Abdel Rahim was speaking during the funeral of the two Palestinian teenagers who were killed by the IDF. “Israel bears responsibility for its crimes against our prisoners, people and holy sites,” he said. “They were killed in cold blood. The Israeli army’s claims are unjustified because they were not carrying any weapons and only used stones.”
Abdel Rahim also claimed that Israel was seeking to drag the Palestinians towards a third intifada.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev responded to the Palestinian charges by saying “it is a pity that there are elements within the Palestinian Authority using the language of confrontation, instead of the language of reconciliation and peace.” He said the problems are not going to be solved “by calling for violent demonstrations,” and that the “language of conflict is doing a disservice to those trying to bring about a resumption of talks.”
According to Regev, there is currently a “genuine and serious attempt by the prime minister, together with the Americans, to try to restart direct peace talks.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to arrive in Israel Monday and hold a second round of talks in just over two weeks with Netanyahu, and the next day with Abbas.
One official termed the charge that Israel was trying to escalate the situation as “mendacious and not true. Those inside the PA making these outrageous charges are tying to foment confrontation.”
The official said that Israel expected more from a leadership that said it believed in peace.
Government officials declined to comment on whether the events surrounding the death in jail of Hamdiyeh served to increase or decrease the likelihood of Israel releasing some Palestinian prisoners – specifically 120 prisoners who have been in jail before the 1993 Oslo accords – as a gesture to get the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
“I am not going to go into the details of specific confidence building measures beyond saying we are ready for mutual reciprocal steps to restart the process,” the Israeli official said.