In an interview with FRANCE 24 on Day 20 of the Israel-Hamas conflict, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Biden administration “to pressure Israel to stop this war”. Nabil Abu Rudeineh also said that the current conflict was “an opportunity for us, for the Israelis, for the Europeans and the Americans” to reach a “two-state” solution in the Middle East.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh fears the war in Gaza will spread not only to the West Bank but also to the wider region. “The danger is there, not just here in Palestine but also in the region,” he told FRANCE 24. This is why, he added, Abbas is calling for an immediate ceasefire to ensure humanitarian aid can be brought into Gaza.
Abu Rudeineh also warned that the Palestinian Authority would not allow any “eviction or deportation of the Palestinian people from their land”, saying this was “a red line”.
He called upon the Biden administration to “pressure Israel to stop this war”, saying it will not lead to “anything”.
Asked about the US administration sounding out Abbas about the Palestinian Authority ruling Gaza after the war, he said there had been no recent talks with the US. He added that discussions should be about a “political horizon”, not only for Gaza but also for the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Abu Rudeineh added that the current conflict was “an opportunity for us, for the Israelis, for the Europeans and the Americans” to reach a “two-state” solution.
Asked about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying he considered Hamas not to be a terrorist group but rather “liberators” of Palestinian land, Abu Rudeineh replied that “this is their policy”. “Our policy,” he went on, “is that the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the only representative of the Palestinian people.”
Abu Rudeineh denied growing discontent in Ramallah and the West Bank towards the Palestinian leadership there, claiming that there was no violence on the streets. “Ramallah is safer than Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,” he claimed.
Finally, asked whether the Palestinian Authority was reluctant to condemn the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians, Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian Authority and Arab states condemned the killings of civilians on both sides. “Killing civilians is not accepted by anyone,” he declared.
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