Abbas Slams Netanyahu: I Don't Have a Partner for a Two-state Solution

Palestinian president warns against an Israeli ground operation in Gaza, says cease-fire is most important goal.

Abbas address PLO central council in Ramallah. April 26, 2014.Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday over Israel's Operation Protective Edge, and said that he does not have a partner for a two-state solution.

"The only solution to the current crisis is a diplomatic one, but I don't have a partner for a two-state solution," Abbas said in an interview with the Lebanese television channel Al Mayadeen.

Abbas also warned against an Israeli ground operation in Gaza, saying "we will not sit idly by – we will make firm decisions."

The Palestinian president said that he is not interested in placing blame on one side or the other, saying a cease-fire is the most important goal right now. "I spoke to victims' families in Gaza," he said. "It hurts me – I cannot comfort them or help them. The victims that died now died for nothing. Families lost their loved ones for no just reason."

He said that any future cease-fire between the sides needs to be based on the one reached at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. Abbas said that he has been making efforts to obtain a cease-fire. "At first I turned to the Egyptian president, then to Jordan, the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union."

Abbas harshly condemned Israel's treatment of the Palestinians. "Israel does not recognize us as a nation and does not treat us as human beings," he said. "Israel opposed the reconciliation (between Fatah and Hamas) and wants a divide between the West Bank and Gaza. I insist on continuing with the reconciliation. If I feared Israel and the U.S., I would not have done it in the first place."