PA security fears for Abbas's life after UN speech

Source tells 'Asharq Al-Awsat' PA president's security increasing "because the Americans and Israelis intend to replace him.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R) (photo credit: Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R)
(photo credit: Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority has decided to beef up security around PA President Mahmoud Abbas out of concern for his life following his speech at the UN General Assembly, Palestinian security sources said Tuesday.
Nimer Hammad, political advisor to Abbas, confirmed that tight security measures have been taken to ensure the PA president's safety.
Hammad said the new measures were taken following Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's recent attacks on Abbas.
He claimed that Israel was planning to get rid of Abbas and called on the US to intervene to stop the alleged scheme.
“We are really concerned for his life because the Americans and Israelis intend to replace him,” the sources told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
The sources said that the PA leadership would not “succumb to Israeli pressure and threats against President Abbas” after he announced his intention to ask the General Assembly to upgrade the status of a Palestinian state to non-member in the UN.
According to the sources, the PA has demanded that the UN “protect” Abbas in light of the “threats and pressure.”
The PA Foreign Ministry in Ramallah said it holds Israel responsible for statements made by Liberman last week to the effect that Abbas would “pay the price” for his statehood bid.
The ministry called on the Quartet members – the US, UN, EU and Russia – to also hold Israel responsible for threats to “assassinate” Abbas.
Meanwhile, Abbas reiterated Tuesday his determination to pursue the PA statehood bid at the UN.
The PA president predicted that that the General Assembly would hold a vote on the application “within the next few weeks.”
Addressing Palestinian students in his office, Abbas said, “We recently went to the UN with a request to recognize a state and we will achieve this, God willing, as soon as possible.”
Abbas said that approving the application would mean that a Palestinian state would be under occupation by another country.
“We have no problem with this because then we will have a state and not a disputed land,” he said. “This land is ours. It is occupied land, no matter how many settlements there are and how much they grow.”
Abbas said that Palestinians will not accept the presence of any settlers on their lands.
“The settlements and settlers must leave,” he continued.
“This land and Jerusalem belong to us. There will never be a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital.”