Ab­bas: I’ll con­tinue to pay pris­on­ers and their fam­i­lies

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

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.”

(Mo­hamad Torokman/Reuters)

MAH­MOUD AB­BAS

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