Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that Israel is waging an all-out war against all Palestinians. “This is not a war against one faction or another, or against Hamas, but against the entire Palestinian people,” Abbas said in a speech he made in Ramallah.
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He said the war started in Hebron, continued to Jerusalem with the murder of the teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir and has now reached the Gaza Strip.
Abbas said Israel does not want to protect itself, but the West Bank settlements. He said he was conducting talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the secretary of the Arab League Nabil al-Arabi and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in a bid to hold an urgent debate in the UN Security Council.
“We’re making efforts with the whole world to stop this disaster, which doubtlessly requires immediate international intervention,” he said.
The Palestinian leadership met Wednesday to discuss the recent days’ events and the rage among the Palestinian people in view of Israel’s attack on Gaza. Haaretz has learned that a few senior Palestinian officials urged Abbas to sign the documents for joining international organizations, including the International Court of Justice. Abbas has not responded to this initiative yet.
Abbas has also asked Switzerland to apply the Geneva Conventions, which he signed some two months ago, to the Palestinian Authority.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshal Wednesday called on the international community to make it clear to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Palestinians will not live under occupation.
Speaking in a news conference in Qatar, Meshal said the Israeli prime minister isn’t interested in reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and is attempting to undermine it.
Meshal accused Netanyahu of starving people by blocking the payment of salaries in Gaza and by ignoring the recent hunger strike by the administrative detainees in Israeli prisons. He reiterated that Hamas had no clue as to who had kidnapped the three teens in Gush Etzion, but welcomed the attack.
“The kidnapping was the start of things as far as Netanyahu is concerned. As if the occupation, the settlements and the blockage don’t constitute a blatant violation of Palestinian rights. Whoever wants calm in return for calm isn’t going to get it,” he said.
He said the blueprint for achieving quiet was “an immediate halt to the aggression and bombings, and it’s time to end the occupation. You Israelis: Take your complaints to Netanyahu and his extremist government, which are the reason you are in bomb shelters.
“The enemy will see things it’s not expecting,” Meshal continued. “Israel is stronger than us in weapons and technology, but we are facing a great campaign and ask for our people’s patience so we can win.”
Meshal called on the various factions in the West Bank and Gaza “to take responsibility, and together we will face the mighty Israel and achieve liberation.” He also called on the Palestinian Authority and its security forces to join the campaign. “We are brothers,” he said. “Stand up for your nation and its rights.”
The death toll in Gaza Strip Wednesday rose to 53 since the operation began on Tuesday, according to Palestinian sources. Among the casualties were a mother and her child who were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis and three bodies that were found in the al-Maghazi refugee camp near Deir al-Balah in the center of the Strip.