Palestinian relief agency faces cash crunch next month, chief says

Palestinian President Abbas reaffirms commitment to governing Gaza after war ends

LONDON: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed his commitment to running the Gaza Strip once the current conflict ends, but warned that there could be no peace with Israel’s current government.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinian Authority lacks an “Israeli partner for achieving lasting peace,” describing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “clearly a stumbling block to a political solution based on international legitimacy and law.”

Abbas said Netanyahu’s “rejection of the two-state solution and his announcement of continuing the war on Gaza are clear evidence of his public refusal of the peace process and achieving security and stability. He believes only in the logic of occupation, power, and settlement.”

Abbas said the PA is collaborating with Arab, regional, and international partners, praising Saudi Arabia for “historic, honorable, authentic, steadfast” support in the search for peace.

“Immediately upon cessation of aggression against our people,” the PA would be ready to fulfill its governing duties in Gaza, he added.

Peace remains dependent upon recognition of Palestinian statehood secured through full UN membership, Abbas said, adding that an international peace conference providing guarantees and a timeline detailing the cessation of Israel’s occupation would be necessary.

While Arab and regional support has been forthcoming, Abbas said despite positive noise coming from the US in support of a two-state solution, words and actions have yet to meet as he called for “genuine American will” to see its realization.

“We’ve had several meetings with top US officials … and they’ve assured us of their commitment to the two-state solution,” he added.

“However, despite these talks, there hasn’t been any tangible progress on the ground. Israel continues to undermine the political process, rejecting international resolutions and escalating violence against Palestinian. What matters most is action on the ground.”

Amid the violence in Gaza, Abbas pointed to growing tensions in both East Jerusalem and the West Bank, accusing Israel of killing Palestinians while protecting extremist settlers.

“We’ve warned world leaders, including the US, that if this continues, things could spiral out of control,” he cautioned, adding that there is not enough pressure on Israel to stop.

“Despite this, we’re working to keep things calm and prevent further escalation,” Abbas said. “Israel wants to avoid a political solution that ends its occupation, so it’s trying to stir up trouble.”

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