Abbas Threatens to Resign over Failure in Talks

Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to resign because of the impasse in peace negotiations.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said on Tuesday that if the efforts to revive peace talks that can lead to a two-state solution remain deadlocked then Mahmoud Abbas will resign since there would be no Palestinian state.

"President Abbas is not playing games and he is not going to hold on to the presidency just for the title. He wants to be the president of a Palestinian state," AFP quoted Erakat as saying.

The move could probably lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, which was formed in 1990s as part of the Oslo peace accords to govern parts of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"If president Abbas feels that his project of establishing a Palestinian state is in danger and that Israel wants to destroy the idea of a Palestinian state, then I think he will not remain in the position of the presidency", Erakat added.

Palestinian officials have repeatedly said that they would agree with the resumption of the long-stalled peace talks only after a full settlement freeze on the occupied Palestinian land. Tel Aviv, however, refuses to stop its illegal settlement activity. Tel Aviv promised to halt the activity during the Annapolis Conference held on November 27, 2007.

Palestinian officials have repeatedly said that they will not join peace talks over a Palestinian independent state unless Israel stops expanding Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and in the east of Jerusalem Al-Quds, which is the place the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

"If there is not going to be a Palestinian state then there is not going to be a Palestinian Authority or the institutions or the presidency of a Palestinian Authority," Erakat said.

The threat to step down came a week after Abbas said that he will not stand for re-election, blaming Israel and the United States over the stalemate in Mideast peace talks.

Abbas stressed that at first US President Barack Obama gave high hopes to the Palestinians of holding Israel accountable, but ultimately left them disappointed. He said that it is now clear the US is in favor of Israel and its illegal settlements.

He added that all hopes were further shattered when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer of a limited easing of settlement building as "unprecedented".

(Press TV)

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