Published: april 28, 2010; Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Mahmoud Abbas’ Speech at the Opening Session of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council.
“Palestinian sources” reported that a number of senior Israeli and American figures, among them Israeli President Shimon Peres and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, transmitted a proposal from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Mahmoud Abbas to the effect that a Palestinian state with temporary borders be established. That should be in return for postponing deliberations on Jerusalem until the negotiations on the final status arrangement and the continuation of building in Jerusalem (Al-Hayat, April 24, 2010).
On April 24 Mahmoud Abbas referred to the issue in a speech delivered at the opening session of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council. He said the Palestinian Authority rejected the idea of establishing a Palestinian state with temporary borders. He added that the Palestinians were determined to establish a state with the 1967 borders, according to the Road Map. He said that Jerusalem was the key to solving the conflict and that ending the [so-called] “occupation” of the city would be the basis for any future agreement (Ma’an News Agency, April 24, Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, April 25, 2010).
The speech was broadcast by Palestinian TV on April 24, and its main points were the following:
- Israel: “The Israeli stubbornness and refusal have become more extreme by their adherence to continuing [building in] the settlements and causing a historic opportunity for peace to fail.”
- Borders: “There are international borders between Israel and Palestine, as [between Israel and] Egypt, and not a ‘cease-fire line’ as Israel claims. The Palestinians will agree only to slight mutual modifications in our borders, provided that our borders and territories will remain as they are now.”
- A state with temporary borders: “The Palestinians will absolutely not agree to a state with temporary borders.”
- Jerusalem: “The end of the occupation of Jerusalem is the most important issue and will be the basis for a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
- The United States: Mahmoud Abbas expressed his estimation for the “brave American position” regarding “the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and a solution for the core issues of Jerusalem, the refugees and borders, [a solution which is] a strategic American interest, not only Palestinian or Israeli.”
- The “resistance”: “The Palestinian people must bravely maintain the ‘popular resistance’ to defend its homes, holy places and land.” He again repeated his objection to an “armed resistance”.