Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is also leader of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on Wednesday declared that Fatah will never give up on its principles, its character and its identity in order to achieve the dream of freedom and an independent state.
Abbas was speaking at the Fatah congress being held in Ramallah, a day after he was re-elected by consensus as Fatah leader.
Attendees at the congress, which is being held for the first time since 2009, include representatives of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups, who were invited directly by Fatah, despite the fact that Abbas is considered a "moderate" by most of the Western world, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad openly call for the destruction of the state of Israel.
In his speech on Wednesday, Abbas reiterated that the Palestinian Arabs will not accept a state with temporary borders or interim solutions, and stressed that they will continue to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
He reiterated the demand to implement the Arab peace initiative without changes, and stated that the PA would continue its efforts, with the help of friendly Arab countries, to approve a Security Council resolution against “Israeli settlements”.
Referring to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which proclaimed Britain’s support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in then-Palestine, Abbas said that the PA is negotiating with Britain to apologize for the publication of this document, correct the "injustice" done to the Palestinians and recognize the “State of Palestine”.
The PLO has in recent months launched a new campaign in an attempt to force Great Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration, going so far as to threaten to sue Britain over the 99-year-old document.
Abbas’s remarks come as he continues to refuse to sit down for peace talks with Israel, while imposing preconditions on talks.
Just last week, his spokesman demanded that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announce the end of the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, recognize the two-state solution and agree to participate in the international peace conference that France wants to convene by the end of the year.