Abbas: We Won't Accept Israeli Presence in Jordan Valley
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reiterated on Sunday his determination to turn to the United Nations and ask for Palestine to be recognized as a non-member state.
Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah, Abbas said that he intends to turn to the UN General Assembly on September 27, as he announced on Saturday, despite the pressure on him not to do so.
“We have two options,” Abbas said in the remarks translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi. “Approach the UN and prepare for the different scenarios or avoid doing so and know in advance that the Palestinians lost the war and that Palestine and the Palestinian land have been lost.”
He claimed that previous Israeli governments, including the Olmert government, fully agreed to return to the indefensible pre-1967 borders and agreed to positively discuss the issue of Jerusalem and the ‘Palestinian refugees’. He noted that Israel demanded to keep a presence in the Jordan Valley for 40 years, but the PA refused to that and would never agree to such an arrangement.
Abbas said that the ‘Palestinians’ will not repeat the errors they made in 1948 and 1967 and will not leave their land, but will stick to it until all their rights are returned. At the same time he expressed opposition to violence that would “destroy the Palestinian territories” and advocated for “a peaceful struggle against the occupation.”
He also addressed the protests which have erupted in PA cities due to the economic crisis, saying that his government will discuss on Monday ways to overcome the financial difficulties. He added that the PA will not be able to pay the full August salaries to government employees, and blamed “the occupation” for the crisis, just like PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad did last week.
Abbas also said that the fact that many PA Arabs do not pay taxes has led to the current crisis. He said that 48 percent of the PA budget goes to Gaza, while the PA only receives two to four percent of the income coming from Gaza. Abbas expressed full confidence in Fayyad in light of the growing calls to dismiss him, and said that he himself bears the responsibility for the situation.