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Monday, February 2, 2009

Abbas: Rockets Give Israel Excuse for Escalation


01/02/2009 | Al Manar

Former Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose term ended on January 9, blamed the failure of the truce with Israel on the Palestinian factions in Gaza.

"We did everything we could in order for the truce to continue, but because of interests and agendas that have nothing to do with the Palestinians, it was decided to end the truce," he said on Sunday.

"Israel does not need an excuse to escalate the situation, but these rockets have given it the excuse. Those who say that Israel won (in Gaza) with its warplanes but we won the international community over with the blood of our children – this is a criminal outlook."

"Leadership and responsibility do not mean sending innocent people to hell," Abbas continued, "this (Gaza war) was an adventure that hurt the Palestinian nation's dream of an independent state."

Abbas criticized remarks made by Damascus-based Hamas politburo regarding the need to establish a new umbrella organization to replace the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

"We've heard of similar plans before, and they have all ended up in the garbage bin of history," Abbas said. "The PLO represents all Palestinians. We will not allow anyone to destroy this entity (PLO) for which tens of thousands of people sacrificed their lives.

Abbas said adhering to the Egyptian ceasefire initiative was the way to achieve calm, Palestinian unity and the establishment of a government that will prepare the Palestinian Authority for elections.

"If they (Hamas) want dialogue they must first recognize the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people," he said.

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