Days after meeting Defense Minister Benny Gantz at his home in Rosh HaAyin, Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas launched a scathing attack on Israel on Friday, accusing it of “hideous policies of ethnic cleansing and organized terrorism”.
According to Jerusalem Post journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, Abbas made the comments in a speech marking the 57th anniversary of the launch of the first attack on Israel by his Fatah faction.
“The anniversary of the launch of our revolution comes in extremely critical and difficult circumstances due to the continuation of the abhorrent Israeli occupation, the escalation of its repressive practices and persecution against our people, the theft of our land and natural resources, the stifling of our economy, the withholding of our tax funds, and racial discrimination,” Abbas was quoted as having said.
The PA chairman praised the terrorist prisoners held in Israeli prisons for their “sacrifices and patience,” stressing that the PA leadership will not abandon them or their families.
“We reject house demolitions, land confiscation, the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in [the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of] Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, the uprooting of olive trees, the burning of [agricultural] fields, abuses against prisoners and the continuation of the siege of the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said.
“We will not accept the continuation of your occupation and settlements on our land, and we have run out of patience with this bitter reality,” he stated.
Despite this reality, Abbas said, the Palestinians are ready to achieve “a just and comprehensive peace within the framework of an international conference to be held in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy, and under the auspices of the International Quartet, with the aim of ending the occupation of the land of the State of Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem.”
The PA chairman made no mention of his meeting with Gantz which took place this past Tuesday.
Gantz on Wednesday approved a number of measures to benefit the PA, following his meeting with Abbas.
The Gantz-Abbas meeting was criticized by the Likud party, which said, "Bennett's Israeli-Palestinian government puts Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians back on the agenda. Concessions that are dangerous to Israel's security are only a matter of time. The Bennett-Sa'ar-Lapid government is dangerous to Israel."
The meeting was also criticized within the government, with ministers saying that Gantz's behaviors do not contribute to the coalition's stability.
Among them was Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin (New Hope) said Wednesday morning that Gantz's meeting with Abbas was unnecessary.
"I do not see great importance in it," he said. "I would not invite to my home a person who pays salaries to those who murder Israelis."
"There is no diplomatic plan on the table - the Americans know this also," he added. "Continuous contact with the Palestinian Authority, that does exist."
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)