JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is not going to collapse, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, addressing at least one report to the contrary.
“The Palestinian Authority exists and it is here. It will be followed by a Palestinian state. The Palestinian Authority is one of our achievements and we won’t give it up,” Abbas said Wednesday night from Bethlehem, where he was attending Orthodox Christmas celebrations.
“We won’t accept any other scenarios,” he said.
Haaretz reported that Israel’s Security Cabinet convened twice in recent weeks to prepare for the possibility of the PA’s collapse, a scenario described by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as undesirable for Israel.
Abbas also said that during meetings next week, the PLO will make an official decision on whether or not to cancel agreements signed over the years with Israel, including the security coordination enshrined in the Oslo Accords from the 1990s.
Prior to the speech, rumors had circulated that Abbas was planning to resign amid reports that he was seriously ill, including being treated for a stroke.
Abbas called on the international community to impose a peace agreement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said the Palestinians remain committed to a two-state solution.
“We shall remain on our land and Israel is not permitted to establish an apartheid state or a state with two systems,” he said.
Abbas also called for all West Bank settlements to be dismantled.
“This is our land and all the settlers must leave, he said, “and they will leave as was the case in the Gaza Strip.”