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Israel orders residents of Zaytoun in central Gaza to evacuate
Abbas: New govt recognizes Israel and rejects violence
Published Saturday 26/04/2014 (updated) 06/05/2014 16:14
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President Mahmud Abbas attends the Arab foreign
ministers' meeting at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, on
April 9, 2014 (AFP/File Mohamed el-Shahed)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that the unity government would continue to follow previous PLO policies and that he remains willing to extend peace talks with Israel, which halted the talks in response to a Fatah-Hamas unity deal signed earlier in the week.

During a televised speech kicking off two days of PLO Central Council meetings in Ramallah, Abbas reasserted that he would be willing to extend negotiations with Israel if it pledged to freeze settlement construction and release the last round of prisoners as agreed at the beginning of the talks.

Israel has dismissed the conditions.

"The upcoming government will obey my policy," Abbas told the PLO council. "I recognize Israel and reject violence and terrorism, and recognize international commitments."

"Without Jerusalem there will be no negotiations," Abbas added, pledging also that the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a "Jewish state."

Abbas said that the Palestinian recognized it as a state in 1993 and should not have to accept its religious identity, which has been a central Netanyahu demand.

He pointed out that no similar demand was made of Egypt or Jordan when they signed peace treaties recognizing Israel.

He applauded the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry, with whom Abbas said he met 40 times during the past nine months.

"He was serious and he put in a huge effort, but unfortunately without results."

With regards to Wednesday's reconciliation deal with Hamas, Abbas said the unity government would recognize Israel and renounce violence.

"The upcoming government will obey my policy," he said. "I recognize Israel and reject violence and terrorism, and recognize international commitments."

A senior Hamas official in Gaza concurred told AFP that the it was a "mostly positive" speech.

"It is not the government's mission to take care of political issues," Bassem Naim, an adviser to Hamas' Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh, said.

"It has only three main missions: unifying the Palestinian organizations, preparing for elections and reconstructing Gaza."

Abbas spoke ahead of Palestinian crisis talks expected to focus on US peace efforts and the unity deal.

Wednesday's PLO-Hamas deal infuriated Israel, which said it would "not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terror organization that calls for the destruction of Israel," and vowed unspecified "measures" in response.

The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988, but say that recognizing Israel as a "Jewish state" could jeopardize the right of return for Palestinian refugees and limit the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel.

AFP contributed to this report.

1 ) Mel / USA
26/04/2014 17:51
Recognizing Israel as a state within pre-67 borders is adequate.Then all UN Resols(based on intnl laws)must be honored(RoR,E/J,water/land rights etc).And,Israel's Occupation must end first! Starting point!All else facilitates Israel's racist apartheid.Palestine deserves to be a FREE,pluralistic,self-determined State(not disjointed Bantustans&ghettoes).And PA must not be Judeo-Nazism's French Vichy,herding NON-Jews to death camps!"Negotiations"=more Jews-only colonies only! USG knows it!SHAMEFUL!

2 ) JoeUSA / USA
26/04/2014 19:48
Israel does not reject violence. It uses the term self defense to describe it , but it is violence nevertheless.

3 ) Outlier / USA
26/04/2014 19:53
Talk - especially among Palestinian officials, who comment on anything and everything - is cheap. Let's see action to back those words.

4 ) Julie / USA
26/04/2014 23:15
izrael does not recognize palestine's right to exist, they've made it perfectly clear they never will. izrael does not reject violence, rather izrael incites, promotes, supports & protects their own violence against palestinians. izrael must be held to the exact same standards which they demand for themselves. palestinians deserve their own military as any state does, and they especially deserve protection and security from izraeli criminality.

5 ) Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA / Israel
26/04/2014 23:31
I urge Ma'an reporters to clarify with PA officials if the thousands of rockets and missiles deployed in the Gaza Strip today in gross violation of the signed commitments of the PLO/PA will be removed when there is a unified PA. To be clear: "PA Ramallah" never claimed that such weapons were allowed under the agreements and it is also clear from the PLO nonpaper on security prepared by the PLO Negotiations Department that there is no place for such weapons in a future Palestinian state.

6 ) @ Mel-1 / USA too
27/04/2014 00:41
For me, NO RECOGNITION IS REQUIRED. Instead, All that is required is a willingness to show-up, negotiate, compromise on everything (water, land, etc.), and end the conflict forever !! However, what is "adequate" for you, me, and other states is irrelevant, since Palestinians do Not want something from them. Instead, Palestinians want something (they never had) from the State of Israel, so Israel will determine what is "adequate", which is TO NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING WITHOUT ANY PRE-CONDITIONS.

7 ) @ Joe-2 / USA too
27/04/2014 01:16
You are obviously correct, that Attacking is "Violence nevertheless", and Israel does engage in the Violence of attacking militants !! However, just like there are different kinds of killing (typically "intent" related) violence also has different kinds, where an attack * TARGETING CIVILIANS IS TERRORISM, while an attack * TARGETING (bomb & rocket using) MILITANTS IS SELF-DEFENSE, even if civilians ("human-shields") are also injured, which is why * USING HUMAN-SHIELDS IS A WAR CRIME.

8 ) The Probable & / The Definite
27/04/2014 07:07
ISRAEL ALSO "remains WILLING to extend peace talks", though - Probably NOT WITH a unity government, involving HAMAS, AND - Definitely NOT WITH PRECONDITIONS (prisoners, construction, etc.).

9 ) Have you read HAMAS charter? / IT CALS FOR EXTERMINATION OF
27/04/2014 09:00
Israel The Charter identified Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine and declares its members to be Muslims who "fear God and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors." The charter states that "our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious" and calls for the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories,[2]

10 ) tomas solfaro / uzbekistan
27/04/2014 10:32
Israel has constantly violated the human rights of Palestinians for more than sixty years. Palestinians right to self-determination throughout all of mandate Palestine have been violated. Under international law these violations must be ended and Palestinians everywhere must be given the right to decide the future of all of Palestine, plus receive significant compensation for the violation of their human rights.

11 ) Hans Hauer / Netherlands
27/04/2014 13:03
Interesting point from Dr Lerner (5), however the decommissioning of arms cannot take place overnight, nor (in my opinion) should it take place whilst there is no peace treaty with Israel in place. Israel in all cases, will still remain with highly sophisticated weaponry & undeclared nukes, which as we all know could wipe out many of its potential aggressors. President Abbas has stated he doesn't wish for weapons in a future state, if PLO agree (if/when peace comes) they could then move towards

12 ) Hans Hauer / Netherlands
27/04/2014 13:03
(cont) the decommissioning of arms. However, any future Palestinian State would also need to ensure that its own security interests were protected. How this will be achieved, is still to be decided, although they (the Palestinians) do have allies on their borders. Of course this is all conjecture, the revised PLO would need to make its own position clear on these points, or at least issue an interim statement, stating its objectives.

13 ) Hamas Charter / Mmm
27/04/2014 13:20
The 'Hamas Charter'. Reading between the lines, it reads a bit like the rhetoric put out by most countries when they go to war. Western governments are very vocal when it comes to imposing their idea of a 'Just War' on other countries, especially in the ME. The Crusaders also rode under the 'Banner of God' & there hymns such as 'Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to War' that are still sung today, in mainstream society. Islamic State, Democratic State, Facist State, all idealistic concepts.

14 ) Hamas Charter / Mmm
27/04/2014 13:22
As for 'Jews', Arabic is a very old language, its semantic and grammatical constructs haven’t changed much due to modernity. One word, can mean many different things. In Modern Arabic we find non Arabic words such as 'television', 'telephone', because Arabic cannot accommodate them. Arabic almost certainly has no word for 'Zionist', it is a concept that would not have originally occurred. Yahud or Bani Israel does occur, hence the translation Jews.

15 ) Rami / Palestine
27/04/2014 14:59
#9 Trying reading the Likud Charter someday. That is the party of your peacemaker, Netanyahu. Worse yet, go read the charter of Yisrael Beiteinu, Avigdor Lieberman's party. He's the Foreign Minister shmoozing with Kerry in D.C. I'm sure you'd like to know what he thinks of Arabs. It's all right there for you.

16 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/04/2014 14:06
Abbas and the Pals do not reject violence at all. They promote it. This is the same government that pays convicted murderers reward money for killing unarmed Israeli civilians, then holds victory parades for them when Israel is blackmailed into releasing them from their jail sentences. This is the same government that praises suicide bombers and pays their families reward money. Abbas is a liar - we all know that as a fact.

17 ) Alice Cheshire / W. Land
28/04/2014 14:14
Well things are certainly becoming "curiouser and curiouser", I have to say. So interested to see how the past and present are linked, in this conflict. Seems like both sides have a lot to say about the other.
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