"The PA will only be replaced by a Palestinian state", Abbas said on Wednesday

PNN/Bethlehem

On Wednesday Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas announced that the PLO would officially make a decision next week regarding the upholding of contractual relations with Israel and dismissed talks of the imminent collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

Abu Mazen made his announcement during a speech delivered in Bethlehem during the Orthodox Christmas celebrations.

He reiterated past statements made by Palestinian political bodies supporting the end to agreements signed with the Israeli government.

“The Executive Committee and the Central Committee of the PLO as well as commanders of Palestinian Authority security services will hold meetings next week to give the final decision and we will adhere with whatever they decide,” Abbas said.

During his speech, Abbas stressed that “the PA will only be replaced by a Palestinian state, and no one should dream that it will collapse. The Palestinian Authority is one of our achievements and we won’t give it up.”

“We won’t accept any other scenarios,” he said, referring to reports that the Israeli government had recently discussed various scenarios that could emerge in the aftermath of the collapse of the PA.

Also in his speech, Abbas said that he wants a concrete solution for Palestine:  “It is inconceivable that the Palestinian cause remain unsolved,” he said.

“We have seen solutions in for Iran, Libya and Syria although our cause is older. The situation is complicated and difficult and solutions might not come today or tomorrow, but we must hold on to our achievements and we won’t backtrack on our full rights.”

He also spoke about the ongoing situation on the occupied West Bank: “these are mostly non-violent protests, even when they [the Palestinian youth] throw stones at a distance of 10-20 meters, Israeli [occupation] forces respond with gunfire from 100 meters away.”

“We don’t want our children to be killed, we want them alive,” Abbas added. “We will always support non-violent struggle.”

Finally, Abbas called for an international conference to solve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and cautioned against the continuation of violence and terrorism in the region. He warned against turning the conflict into a religious one and urged Israel to keep a distance from Al-Aqsa Mosque.