Abbas: ‘I may not have the strength to fight, but I won’t die a traitor’

PA leader warns that he might end security and economic cooperation with Israel.

By Daniel Siryoti, Israel Hayom via JNS

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has warned that the freeze in peace talks and ongoing construction in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria will lead to the end of Ramallah’s security and economic cooperation with Israel.

At a press conference in Cairo, Friday, Abbas said, “Ties with Israel are in a state of crisis because it is building in the settlements now more than ever.” He said that the PA is not satisfied with Israel’s conduct regarding the economic agreements signed in Paris in 1994 either. Abbas added that just a month ago, he asked to review the  Paris agreements.

“It may be that we decide to cut off all ties with it [Israel] because there is no room left to maneuver,” warned Abbas.

He said, “I am now 83 years old, and I am not willing to end my life as a traitor. I no longer have the strength to fight, but I am capable of saying no. We are not willing to abandon Jerusalem.”

In his remarks to the press, Abbas emphasized that the Palestinians would not accept any outside interference in the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, chief among them the status of Jerusalem.

He denied that Arab states, including Egypt, had pressured him to accept Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s official capital under U.S. President Donald Trump.

As for Hamas, Abbas threatened the Palestinian Authority would cut all ties with the Gaza Strip if the terrorist group continued to violate the Palestinian reconciliation deal.

“Hamas gets water, electricity, and medicine from other countries, and greedily sells them to Gaza’s residents. If Hamas does not adhere to the agreements, we will end all payments to them in the [Gaza] Strip, which comes to $96 million a month. Ramallah will not continue to fund the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

In two weeks, Abbas will head to New York to take part in a meeting of the Group of 77, a coalition of developing nations that works to promote members’ economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.

The P.A. said that it intended to submit a renewed request to the U.N. Security Council to join the United Nations as a full member state, but Israel counters that the effort has already been thwarted.