Abbas won't drop hardline demands, threatens more violence

Monday, February 08, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

"Moderate" Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel published on Sunday that he will not drop his demand for a total Jewish building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and warned that if Palestinian demands are not met, additional violence could be on the horizon.

Abbas indirectly acknowledged that he increased Palestinian preconditions in response to US President Barack Obama's electoral victory in 2008, and the belief among Middle East Muslims that the new American leader would favor them over Israel and pressure the Jewish state to surrender to their demands.

"I was initially very optimistic after (US President Barack) Obama won the election. His Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, kept coming to us and promised to urge the Israelis to stop settlement construction completely," said Abbas. "The American government suddenly backed away from this position in September."

But the Palestinian leader still has some hope that Obama will "convince the Israelis to announce a complete freeze on construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem" so that a Palestinian state, which "Obama said...constitutes a vital American interest," can be established.

Abbas insisted that his regime long ago implemented all its current peace obligations [Ed. Note - reports of ongoing incitement in the Palestinian media would suggest otherwise], and that it is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is the obstacle to peace by repeatedly stating that Jerusalem will remain undivided under Israeli sovereignty.

Abbas concluded by warning Israel and the world to "not drive the Palestinians to the point of total hopelessness." The Palestinian used a similar excuse to justify their seven-year terrorist onslaught from 2000-2007, known locally as the "Oslo War" or the "Al Aqsa War."

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