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Abbas: Only Difference from Hamas Is that Fatah Is in Power

Abbas said in a speech that being in power is the only difference between his Fatah party and the rival Hamas terrorist faction.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/18/2010, 1:11 PM / Last Update: 1/18/2010, 2:13 PM

Flash 90

Palestinian Authority PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech Sunday that his party’s being in power is the only difference between it and the rival Hamas terrorist faction. “The Palestinian Authority is the legitimate authority and that is the difference,” he told a party conference.

In a particularly hard-line speech, he boasted that the Arab leaders in Judea, Samaria and Gaza “has not offered any concessions from May 1988 until today.” In a further eradication of the American roadmap, he claimed that Israel and not the PA proposed temporary borders for a future PA state.

The Roadmap originally provided a three-step plan towards establishing the PA as a country, with temporary borders as a second step. Condoleezza Rice, as U.S. Secretary of State two years ago, convinced Israel to skip over the first phase, which called for an end of incitement and violence by the PA.

In his speech, Abbas defended his honoring an Arab woman for the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history. He and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad last month celebrated the 50th birthday of terrorist Dalal Mugrahbi, who orchestrated and later was killed in the 1978 Coastal Road attack in which 37 Israelis, including 10 children, were massacred by a  bus hijacker.

Abbas and Fayyad honored her by naming a Ramallah town square after her, calling her a martyr.

In his speech to the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Abbas maintained that he will continue to hunt down and persecute Arabs who violate the PA law against selling property to Jews. Several Arabs have been executed without trial for land deals with Jews.

He also reiterated that he will not agree to resume talks with Israel for a new PA state until Jerusalem halts all building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

He said the partial 10-month freeze instituted three months ago by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “is frankly an unacceptable…position rejected by us, and we cannot go back to negotiations if Israel stays in this position, and if the U.S. has been unable to persuade Israel not to do so."

Speaking later in the day to reporters, Abbas charged that the United States softened its stand against Israeli construction. He explained that U.S. President Barack Obama last year "demanded the full suspension of the Israeli settlement, but now there is a fallback in the U.S. stance in facing the Israeli government's rejection" to freeze building.