Abbas Admits Palestinian State Won’t Happen Any Time Soon
Blames Israel, right after admitting that chaos and violence that characterizes Palestinian society is at fault
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas admitted on Monday that an independent Palestinian state wouldn't be established any time soon.
He then predictably blamed Israel for that situation, just after he had all but acknowledged that the Palestinians and their chaotic, violent society were holding up the process.
Just hours before his own Palestinian Authority government was to convene with the Hamas rulers of Gaza in an effort at Palestinian unity, Abbas told Egypt's CBC News that failure to reconcile for so many years had precluded the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"Without Palestinian unity, there is no Palestinian state," said Abbas.
Israel has repeatedly noted that it can't make peace with only one half of the Palestinian population.
Abbas went on to hint that while his government and Hamas appeared to making strides toward reconciliation, some fairly insurmountable obstacles remained in the way.
Chief among those is Hamas' refusal to dismantle its sizable military force.
Even if the two Palestinian factions reconciled, a separate Hamas army would be seen by Israel as unacceptable under any final status agreement.
Abbas, too, demands that Hamas disarm, saying he "won't accept the reproduction of the Hezbollah experience in Lebanon."
Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese government, but maintains its own large military force that effectively controls portions of the country.
For its part, Hamas has repeatedly rejected all calls for it to turn over its weapons. Indeed, the Islamist group's primary claim to fame is its history of armed violence against Israel.