Daily Israel Report

Arabs Planning Diplomatic Assault

The Palestinian Authority visit to Syria Monday revealed mounting evidence of an Arab attempt to impose a position on Israel through pan-Arab pressure.
First Publish: 12/7/2004, 2:13 PM / Last Update: 12/6/2004, 9:50 PM

"In the end we are all seeking a comprehensive solution, not a partial one, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath told reporters Monday after meeting with Syrian officials. He added that his talks there were to help make sure that "the Israelis do not exploit our respective positions," referring to both the PA's and Syria's demands for Israel to transfer to them land.

Mahmoud Abbas, (Abu Mazen) current PLO leader and the Fatah party candidate for president, was in Damascus to patch up relations with Syria, which have deteriorated during the past 10 years. One of Abbas' objectives was to reopen the PLO "embassy" in Damascus.

The PA also continued to warm up to the Hamas terrorist organization. Abbas met with Hamas representatives in Damascus to discuss a joint strategy towards proposed negotiations with Israel after the January 9 elections for a new PA president.

Abbas is meeting with Lebanese officials Tuesday. He is expected to discuss with Lebanese leaders the fate of almost half-a-million refugees who fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence, who have since been kept in camps in Lebanon. Most Arab leaders have demanded the refugees be allowed to live in Israel in return for Arab recognition of Israel.

Last week, Abbas was also in Egypt, as part of PA attempts increase pressure on Israel with a unified Arab position.