Abbas: 'Many obstacles' for peace

PA president seeks control over east Jerusalem, Jordan Valley.

Abbas speaks to Channel 2 311  (photo credit: Channel 2)
Abbas speaks to Channel 2 311
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he has already demanded sole control over large sections of the West Bank, including those under total Israeli sovereignty. Abbas said that he demand the Jordan Valley, even though Israelis have made clear that they will not agree to preconditions from the Palestinians.
In an interview with the West Bank newspaper Al Ayam, Abbas said that the talks with Israel will begin as soon as the Arab League and the PLO board approve them. He estimated that the sides would hold proximity talks for up to four months, but was pessimistic about their results.
“I don't want to lose hope,” Abbas said, “even though I see many obstacles and feel that there are many in Israel who are not interested in peace. We still have to try to go on this path until we exhaust it.”
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Abbas also announced that he wants to renew the PA's activity in Jerusalem in the now-closed Orient House and the Palestinian Trade Bureau in the eastern part of the city.
“The purpose is to return, within a few months, to the situation that we had before the Intifada, with gradual and significant additions of territory that will be transferred to full Palestinian control,” he explained.
Abbas said that he will visit the United States this month, in order to continue the peace process. “The Americans understood that establishing a Palestinian state is a strategic American interest. Therefore, they are investing serious efforts” in the proximity talks.