Donia Al watanPresident Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday evening that he was about to take decisive steps to end the current division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
This came during a speech Abbas made at a meeting for Palestinian ambassadors to the Arab and Islamic countries held in the Bahraini capital, Manama.
“Hamas committed a crime against our country with its 2007 coup,” said Abbas. “Yet, we had since then been trying to end this division.”
Abbas said that reconciliation and mediation efforts have not succeeded in convincing Hamas to end the division and as a result he finds himself obliged to take decisive steps to end it.
“We are at a critical juncture and this requires decisive steps,” he said. “We are in the process of taking these steps because after 10 years of support for our people, which is our duty, they came up with a strange move and for this reason we are in the process of taking steps in the coming days,” he said in reference to Hamas forming a committee to administer Gaza affairs.
Abbas reiterated his demand for a total Israeli halt to settlement activities, stressing that “demanding an end to settlements does not mean legalizing what has already been built because all settlements built since 1967 are null and void.”
He said the Palestinians want a state based on the Arab Peace Initiative, adding that “we are ready to talk about security arrangements on condition they do not come at the expense of our sovereignty. We do not want to see an Israeli soldier sitting on the hills or borders. This is unacceptable.”
The President renewed his call on Britain to apologize for the injustice caused to the people of Palestine as a result of the Balfour Declaration, calling on the United Kingdom to recognize the State of Palestine.