Abbas responds to Netanyahu, accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing and deliberate killings

PA president responds to Netanyahu’s criticism of Palestinian demand for state with no Jews; Abbas accuses Israel of deliberate killings, ethnic cleansing and continued “settlement industry”

Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responded to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s criticism of the Palestinian’s preconditions and demands for resumption of peace talks. Prime Minister Netanyahu equated the Palestinians demand for a state with no Jews to that of ethnic cleansing, Abbas responding on Monday claiming that Israel is carrying out “ethnic cleansing”, “purposeful killings”, “damaging the holy sites” and continuing its “settlement industry”.

Abbas claimed that the Palestinians are “not isolated, like the Israeli government is trying to present us,” in accusation stating, “the government of Israel is the actually isolated one in the international stage because it isn’t interested in continuing on the path of peace, continues the settlement industry and damages the holy sites.” He also claimed the “government of Israel is carrying out ethnic cleansing and deliberately killings- acts that have exposed it to international criticism all over the world.”

Abbas claimed that the “The Palestinians don’t merely follow a policy of launching test balloons about peace, but take real steps to carry it out,” contrary to the reality of the Palestinian Authority’s consistent and ongoing refusal to meet with Israeli officials without preconditions to talks, as well as their ongoing efforts with international bodies and states to gain recognition despite Israel’s demand for bilateral negotiations for a two-state solution.

Abbas even claimed that “poisonous winds are coming from Israel’s directions in an attempt to break us, but actually turned us stronger and more fateful to ourselves and more resolved, our internal unity remains strong and will not fall because of a campaign.”

His remarks come just a few days following reports from Russia that Abbas and Netanyahu are to meet in the near future in Moscow. Prime Minister Netanyahu has held the same stance and reiterated Israel’s stance on Tuesday in Holland. He stated “I am prepared to meet with Abu Mazen [Abbas] at any time for direct talks without preconditions. I have said this hundreds of times and I am reiterating it now. I do not care about the place be it in Holland, Moscow or anywhere else… The main question is, of course, whether Abu Mazen is prepared to meet without preconditions? We hear contradictory reports about this… If Abu Mazen is ready to meet for direct talks without preconditions, I am ready at any time. I have been calling on him to do this for almost seven years already and if he agrees to do this – there will be a meeting.”