Jerusalem Day on Sunday marks 49 years since Israel miraculously liberated eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan Heights against all the odds in the 1967 Six Day War - but Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairperson Mahmoud Abbas was busy mourning the day.
Abbas sent out a statement on "Naksa Day" as the Palestinian Arabs term it, with Naksa meaning setback in Arabic and indicating the "setback" as five Arab armies were unable to destroy Israel. The day is different than "Nakba Day," which marks the "catastrophe" when the Arab armies were unable to annihilate the fledgling renascent Jewish state in 1948.
"Our nation will in no way agree to anything less than a full end to the Israeli occupation which began in the June 1967 war," said Abbas in his Naksa Day statement as quoted by Channel 10.
The PA head elaborated his demand as including "the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state whose capital is east Jerusalem on the '67 borders."
"Our nation which made many sacrifices for this goal will not agree to any reality that Israel tries to force on it, and particularly in Jerusalem and the holy places to Islam and Christianity," continued Abbas. "The Palestinian leadership has adhered to the principle of the solution of two states living in peace and security alongside each other, and everything connected to the occupation is illegal."
"The Palestinian side refuses any attempt to change the Arab initiative, as was decided upon in the Arab summit in 2002," he concluded, referencing a plan by which Israel would completely withdraw to the 1949 Armistice lines in return for paper promises not to attack by its Arab neighbors.
The Arab initiative is the basis of the French initiative currently being advanced, which seeks to force peace talks on Israel.