PA head Mahmoud Abbas (L) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels. (AP/Virginia Mayo) (AP/Virginia Mayo)
Abbas Jean-Claude Juncker

Addressing the European Parliament on Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas claimed Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria is the root cause of global terrorism and is encouraging extremists. Abbas also refused to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. 

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the European Union (EU) for help to “end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and support for a lasting peace agreement,” as he termed it.

“You are our friends, help us,” Abbas told the European lawmakers on Thursday.

He charged that “Israel has turned our country into an open-air prison.”

Abbas said the so-called occupation was only encouraging extremists and fomenting terrorism.

“Once the occupation ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world,” Abbas claimed. He appeared to allude to the fact the Palestinians can stop the terror at any given point.

“We are against terrorism, in whatever form it may take, and whoever carries it out,” Abbas claimed, while the PA under his leadership and all its organs have been inciting and supporting terror, which has generated nine months of Palestinian terror attacks which have claimed the lives of 37 victims and wounded over 450.

To the applause of lawmakers he said: “Why is international law not being applied in the case of Israel?”

The EU, which endorsed the French peace initiative on Monday, has promised an “unprecedented package” of political and economic support to both sides should they reach a final agreement, amid a new European push to help end the long-running conflict.

President Reuven Rivlin

President Reuven Rivlin. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

While in Brussels, Abbas refused to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, despite attempts by the Europeans to arrange such a meeting and despite Rivlin’s consent.

“On a personal level,” Rivlin said on Thursday, “I must say that I find it strange that President Mahmoud Abbas, my friend Abu Mazen, refused again and again to meet with Israeli leaders and turns again and again to the support of the international community. We can talk. We can talk directly in a way to build confidence.”

Addressing the European Parliament on Wednesday, Rivlin said that Israel seeks peace and support a process, but there is no substitute to direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The French initiative suffers from fundamental faults. The attempt to return to negotiations for negotiations’ sake, not only does not bring us near the long-awaited solution, but rather drags us further away from it,” he stated.

Israel says the only option for successful negotiations is through direct ones, while the Palestinians have vowed never again to do so with Israel.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff

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PA head Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh together.

PA head Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh together.

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