Report: Abbas threatens to resign

Says he might dismantle Palestinian Authority and leave Territories.

abdullah abbas 298.88 (photo credit: Associated Press)
abdullah abbas 298.88
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to resign, dismantle the Authority and leave the Territories, the London-based A Sharq al Awsat reported Wednesday. Abbas made the statements during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who requested that he use his authority to help free Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Abbas responded that he no longer had any authority. Abbas had accused Israel Tuesday of military escalation in the Gaza Strip, saying Israeli forces were targeting civilians and worsening Palestinian hardship. "The situation is extremely difficult," he told reporters in Amman following talks with Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit. "The Israelis are continuously escalating. They are targeting civilians on the one side and the infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority on the other," said Abbas. Abbas, who was on an impromptu visit to brief Jordanians on the situation in Gaza, later met with Jordan's King Abdullah II. In the meeting, Abdullah pledged again to "work tirelessly, and in cooperation with all international sides, to ensure the cessation of [Israeli] military operations and ease the tragic situation faced by Palestinians," according to a statement by the king's office. "Returning to the peace process is now an imperative in order to get out of the current crisis," the king told Abbas, according to the statement. Earlier, Abbas said IDF troops were destroying electricity and water supplies, as well as government buildings. "But what is worse is targeting civilians, including families," he said. "Everyday, you see a big number of women and children being killed." Abbas said he had asked Arab states and the international community to help resolve the crisis, which was triggered by the June 25 abduction of Cpl. Gilad Shalit by Palestinian terrorists. Abbas also said he urged United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan "to stop this assault" on the Gaza Strip. Nearly 60 Palestinians have been killed since the confrontation began 13 days ago.