Abbas: Israeli settlements, tax seizure require new position

RAMALLAH, December 9, 2012 (Ma’an) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told on Sunday at an Arab League meeting that a new position will be taken if Israel continues to build settlements and seize Palestinian tax revenues.

Abbas told during the speech before the Arab League’s Ministerial Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative in Doha that a major motive behind the UN bid was to halt Israeli assaults against Palestinians.

The president also emphasized the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative, introduced by Saudi Arabia in 2002 and approved at several regional summits. “The initiative actually cornered both Israel and the Western world by simply accepting that if Israel withdraws from Arab and Palestinian lands, all 57 Arab and Islamic countries will normalize relations with Israel,” Abbas said.

Abbas promised to make reconciliation with Hamas as one of his top priorities. He added that the next step for Hamas was to allow the elections commission to resume preparations in Gaza for a national vote.

Additionally, Abbas made reference to the efforts that had been made regarding a Palestinian constitution.  “We have a semi-project and when we finish it we hope to learn your evaluation of this constitution before we announce it,” he told at the meeting.

Source: Ma’an News