Abbas the "Peacemaker" Hints at Intifada
Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas hinted Monday during his meeting with United States Middle East envoy George Mitchell that a third intifada may be in the making. Salam Fayyad, the PA "prime minister" made similar remarks at a condolence visit with parents of two rioters and two would-be terrorists. On the other hand, at his weekly cabinet meeting on Monday,the cabinet said the PA would not allow for a return to violence, adding that the international community’s assistance is essential in ensuring that an armed conflict does not erupt.
During the course of his conversation with Mitchell in Ramallah, Abbas condemned the killing of four PA teens in two separate incidents last week. Two died after being hit with rubber bullets during a massive riot in the village of Iraq-Burin and two were killed while attempting to attack IDF soldiers on patrol near Shechem.
Abbas told Mitchell the Palestinians “don’t want to be dragged into a discussion of why we don’t want this, and why they don’t want that,” and hinted that a third intifada against Israel might be in the offing.
The PA chairman emphasized that the events near Shechem were serious and created a dangerous situation. He added that the PA Arab population is implementing its right to resistance in accordance with international law. Abbas also attacked the Israeli government, saying officials are protecting settlers who are taking over “Palestinian lands” and who he claimed are “harming local residents.”
Fayyad, meanwhile, visited the families of the teens who died while rioting last week with a mob against Israeli soldiers in Iraq-Burin, and the two would-be terrorists from Awarta. Both villages are located near Shechem in Samaria. During the visits Fayyad said, “The settler terror and the actions of the Israeli occupation forces and the repeated attacks won’t dissuade our people from our sticking to our position and the firmness to stand by it and to struggle against the occupation and the separation fence.”
Fayyad declared that the PA Arab population will continue to “fight the occupation” in order to bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders of Israel. He added that “due to the present Israeli military escalation there is a need for international intervention in order to protect the Palestinian people.”