Mahmoud Abbas to attend Peres funeral

Palestinian Authority leader pledges to attend former Israeli president's funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, despite diplomatic deadlock.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will attend the funeral of Israeli ex-president, two-time Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres, PA officials told AFP on
Thursday, in what will be a rare visit to Jerusalem.

Several Palestinian Authority officials confirmed his participation at Friday's funeral, speaking on condition of anonymity. An Israeli Defense Ministry unit also said Abbas had asked to coordinate his participation.

He will join leaders from across the world at the funeral, including US President Barack Obama.

Many Palestinian Authority Arabs have denounced Peres as a "war criminal" following his
death, but Abbas hailed him as a "brave" partner for peace and sent his family condolences.

Abbas's Fatah party dominates the Palestinian Authority, which is in power Areas A and B in Judea and Samaria.

Officials for Fatah's rival Hamas, the Islamist terror organization that runs the Gaza Strip, have welcomed Peres's death and called him "one of the last Israeli founders of occupation".

Abbas's attendance at the funeral comes as France calls for a reboot of final status negotiations, which have been at a complete standstill since April 2014.

While Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for direct negotiations with Abbas with no preconditions, the Palestinian Authority leader has demanded a total freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, as well as the freeing of jailed terrorists as preconditions to any negotiations.

AFP contributed to this report




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