Abbas in Turkey: We'll Respond to Israeli Construction
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday vowed to respond if Israel moves ahead with plans to build 3,000 new Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
"If it becomes a reality ... we will then respond through other means," Abbas told the Turkish parliament, without elaborating, according to AFP.
Last week Abbas said that Israel’s plans to build homes in the area known as E1 between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim was "a red line that cannot be tolerated".
He then warned he would take all the legal means available to prevent such a "dangerous" decision.
On Monday, Abbas claimed that the Israeli construction decision aimed at "punishing" Palestinian Authority Arabs for their unilateral move at the UN.
“We want to give peace a chance," Abbas said in remarks translated from Arabic, and called for a fully independent state.
"We are only at the beginning now and there is a long way ahead of us but we are proceeding on a right path," he added. "We are on a right path that will lead us to a fully independent Palestinian state."
The visit marks Abbas's first trip abroad after the UN vote. He is expected to meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Tuesday.
Also on Monday, the EU said it was "deeply dismayed" by the recent announcement of new Israeli housing plans, saying the move threatens peace efforts.
"The European Union is deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and in particular plans to develop the E1 area," said a draft of the conclusions on the Middle East peace process at a one-day meeting in Brussels.
The E1 plan, "if implemented, would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict" as it would question the viability of the two-state solution central to the peace process, it said.