Ramallah, 16 Rabiul Akhir 1434/26 Februari 2013 (MINA) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday (25/2) that Israel was deliberately seeking to stoke unrest in Palestine. But surely Palestinians would not be provoked.
“The Israelis want chaos. We will not allow them to drag us into it and to mess with the lives of our children and our youth,” Abbas told reporters in his office in Ramallah seemingly in response to an Israeli demand Sunday that he calm a wave of protest in the territory.
“We want peace and freedom for our prisoners and no matter how hard they try to drag us into their schemes, we will not be dragged. We lost Arafat Jaradat who was arrested and came back in a coffin and this cannot pass lightly,We will not allow them to keep our prisoners in jails all their lives for crimes they didn’t commit,” he added.
Abbas continued: “We are asking for peace which is built on justice and stopping settlements because we are a state under occupation and according to the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel shouldn’t change the nature of the land which it’s occupying and transfer people to it.”
Peace means an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the president added, according to Saudi Gazette reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Tuesday morning.
“We will not accept less than international legitimacy and we tell all states of the world including the US and the Quartet that we are seeking peace.”
Protests in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons have been building and gained new momentum with the sudden death in his cell Saturday of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat, a former militant of Abbas’s Fatah movement.
The sounds and fury were reminiscent of the seven-year Intifada, or uprising, that started in 2000 after Israeli-Palestinian peace talks failed.
“The previous two Intifadas … came about as a result of a high number of dead (during protests),” Dichter told Israel Radio. “Fatalities are almost a proven recipe for a sharper escalation.”
Palestinian frustration has been fuelled by Israel’s settlement expansion in the West Bank, a peace process in limbo since 2010.
“We have no choice but to continue the popular resistance and escalate it in the face of the occupation, whether it be the army or the settlers,” Mahmoud Aloul, a senior member of Abbas’s Fatah movement, told Reuters.
In Se’eer, local merchant Abu Issa( 45) said he was unsure whether what he described as Palestinian opposition to Israeli occupation would lead to an uprising.
“One day the Palestinian people will take a stand, but I don’t know if that day is today,” he said. (T/P04/E1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)