Peace partner?
Abbas dreams of controlling all of Judea and Samaria

In speech on anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death, PA chairman calls to "liberate Palestine".

Dalit Halevi ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday gave a speech on the 15th anniversary of the death of Fatah founder and former PA chairman Yasser Arafat.

Abbas claimed in his remarks that "Arafat's basic principles are the basic principles of the Palestinian people and no one can renounce them, give them up or ignore them, but rather the Palestinians will stick to them until Palestine is liberated."

"Those who attack Israel are not terrorists or criminals and the Palestinian Authority will not renounce them or their families," he declared.

Abbas also addressed the issue of elections in the Palestinian Authority. "The elections must be held simultaneously in both the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. This is a condition without which they will not take place. Our dream is an independent Palestinian state, self-determination and return to all the lands of Judea and Samaria."

Arafat died in a military hospital near Paris at the age of 75 in November 2004, after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in Ramallah.

The PA has in the past accused Israel of “assassinating” the former leader. In 2015, French judges closed an investigation into claims Arafat was murdered, without bringing any charges.