Abbas: I’ll continue to pay prisoners and their families
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that attempts to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank will not succeed, and vowed to continue payments to Palestinian security prisoners held by Israel and their families.
Abbas was referring to continued efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to achieve a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.
In a speech on Saturday marking the 14th anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas said the Palestinians were capable of facing “all liquidationist schemes and conspiracies that are being concocted against their national cause.”
Abbas did not make any reference to Qatar’s role in providing funds to the Gaza Strip – an initiative that has been strongly criticized by some of his senior officials in Ramallah.
However, Abbas said he will continue to support Egypt’s efforts to end the crisis between his Fatah faction and Hamas. He repeated his demand that Hamas allow his Ramallah-based government to assume full responsibility in the Gaza Strip, saying he was seeking one government, one security force and one law for all Palestinians.
“The conspiracy that began with the Balfour Declaration has not ended yet,” Abbas said. He also vowed to thwart US President Donald Trump’s yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East, which is also known as the “deal of the century.”
“They won’t find one honorable Palestinian who will compromise on the right of our people to freedom, sovereignty and independence,” Abbas added.
The PA leadership, Abbas said, will not abandon the Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons and will continue to pay them stipends “even if that’s the last thing we own.”