Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech on Wednesday evening during the Fatah party’s seventh congress, addressing a scope of issues ranging from the political movement itself to conflicts in the Arab world.
Abbas’ two-and-a-half-hours speech marked the second day of Fatah’s seventh congress, which has gathered some 1,322 members of the party in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Abbas stated that the Fatah conference would reinforce the Palestinian people’s march towards achieving their national goals, stressing that Fatah would not give up on its goals or identity.
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The organization of the congress, the first since 2009, was the embodiment of Fatah’s convictions and commitment to democratic values, Abbas claimed.
Abbas was promptly reappointed as chairman of Fatah on the first day of the five-day conference, during which the political faction is expected to discuss internal Fatah issues, as well elect members of its revolutionary council.
Abbas has been the chairman of Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since 2004, and the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) since 2005, although his mandate as head of state officially ended in 2009.
Mahmoud Abbas Proposes Palestinian Unity Government With Hamas https://t.co/wLFe7CYloG
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There have been serious speculations over whether the conference would address the pressing issue of preparing for the future of Fatah, the PA, and the PLO after Abbas.
Fatah has witnessed growing internal dissent over the past year, with the party discharging a number of officials from their functions in past months or otherwise preventing them from attending the party’s conference.
The Palestinian Authority has also faced growing discontent in the occupied Palestinian territory, with the Hamas movement accusing it in April of adopting a “revolving door policy” funneling Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons as part of “escalating security collaboration” with Israeli authorities.
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Abbas addressed the ongoing conflict between the Fatah-led PA and Hamas, stating that the internal Palestinian discord had to end, affirming that “there can be no Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip.”
The two Palestinian parties have had particularly tense relations since Hamas won legislative elections in 2006 and became the ruling party in the Gaza Strip.
Addressing the wave of unrest which began in October 2015 across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel, Abbas said that Palestinians needed to defend their cause with all their strength in what he termed an “intifada of brains.”
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Abbas later added that he was against all types of violence and terrorism, stating that Islam was a religion of forgiveness, love, and peace, and had nothing to do with terrorism.
His statements reflected the PA’s general attitude towards the recent uprising, which has been mainly characterized by small-scale attacks carried out by politically unaffiliated Palestinian individuals, with 241 Palestinians being killed by Israelis and 34 Israelis killed by Palestinians during that time period.
Abbas highlighted the “necessity” of negotiations with Israel and, addressing Israelis, he said “we want peace in accordance with international law.”
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)