Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas blasted Israel on Thursday, claiming that it was the Israeli government which refuses to work towards a peace agreement with the PA and wishes to perpetuate “the occupation”.
Speaking at a speech marking the 51st anniversary of his Fatah movement, Abbas turned directly to the Israeli people and charged, "Your government leads you astray - it does not want peace and is working using all means to continue the occupation and build settlements on our land."
Israeli’s military build-up in Judea and Samaria will not lead to a solution to the conflict in the long term, the PA chairman warned, according to excerpts of his speech quoted by the Walla! Hebrew-language news website.
"The tanks, guns, planes, fences and your settlements - all of them will not bring security or peace," he said. "It will happen only if you recognize the rights of our people and the historical injustice against them."
"We will not remain under your occupation and settlements," continued Abbas, according to Walla!. "We will not accept the fact that you hold the bodies of our martyrs and continue to stop our families. Get out of our lives and our land, remove your hands from our holy places. Fix the damage and restore our rights. He who has the courage to do this will be the one who brings peace. Are you ready for this?"
According to Abbas, achieving peace in the region will end the ongoing wave of terrorism against Israel.
"Achieving peace in our region will remove the justifications of terrorist organizations who operate in the name of religion, and use the name 'Palestine' and 'Jerusalem' to justify their terror," he claimed.
Israel-PA peace talks have been frozen since 2014, when the PA unilaterally joined international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.
Since then, the PA has been on “diplomatic offensive” against Israel, joining international organizations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) and submitting “evidence” of alleged Israeli war crimes against Palestinians with the intent of having the court prosecute Israel.
Meanwhile, Abbas himself has continued to incite to terrorism against Jews, having recently called on Palestinian Arabs to “liberate” the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from Jews and their “filthy feet”.
On Wednesday, Walla! reported that Israel has conditioned a return to peace talks with the PA on an end to the current wave of terror.
Israel’s demand was made during several recent high-level security-related meetings between Israeli representatives and PA representatives, according to the news website.