Abbas: There Will Be No Palestinian State in – or Without – Gaza

Palestinian president reaffirms rejection of Trump's promised peace deal at Palestinian Central Council convention in Ramallah

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the meeting of the Central Council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank October 28, 2018.
Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday evening that, "There will be no [independent] state in the Gaza Strip and no state without the Gaza Strip." 

"I am telling the Gaza leadership that if they accept a state in Gaza they are standing by our enemies who want to dismantle us," Abbas said, speaking at the Palestinian Central Council convention in Ramallah.

"The plot against the Palestinian people isn't over. As we have declared, we are against the 'Deal of the Century.' East Jerusalem is our capital, the same capital that was occupied in 1967," Abbas said, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump's anticipated peace plan.

"The settlement enterprise is illegitimate in its entirety and will not receive legitimization from the Palestinian leadership," he added.  

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The PCC has 130 members and is considered the second most important Palestinian institution. It has the authority to make decisions that are binding for the Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee and for the Palestinian Authority, both headed by Abbas.

The convention is being held during a particularly troubling time for the PA, which is in the throes of a crisis in its relationship with the United States following the transfer of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is also a problematic time given the absence of a political horizon for an agreement with Israel and the split between the PA and Hamas.  

Abbas told Palestinian television in recent days that at the convention, significant and dramatic decisions regarding relations with Israel, the U.S. and Hamas in Gaza will be reached.

"We are heading toward the most important, most fateful decisions. We are at a very dangerous crossroads, maybe the most dangerous," Abbas told convention participants.

"The Balfour Declaration may have been implemented, but the Palestinian people will not allow the 'Deal of the Century' to be implemented," he continued.

Abbas also said the stipends that the PA gives to prisoner and martyr families "will not stop since this is a holy issue, despite all the pressures."