On the peace process

Abbas to Israelis: "Our hand is extended in peace that is created between those who are brave" 
Source: Haaretz, May 27, 2017
Abbas sent a message to Israelis demonstrating on May 27, 2017 for "Two states - One hope" at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv:
    "There isn't a voice stronger than the voice of just and inclusive peace, just like there isn't a voice stronger than the right of people for self-determination and freedom from the burden of occupation... The time has come to live, you and us, in peace, harmony, security and stability. The only way to end the conflict and the fight against terror in the region and the entire world is a solution of two states based on the 1967 borders, Palestine alongside Israel. We've accepted the decisions of the UN, recognized Israel and accepted the two-state solution, and the world has recognized the state of Palestine. Now the time has come for the State of Israel to recognize our state and end the occupation. The opportunity still exists, and it cannot be missed when our hand is extended in peace that is created between those who are brave."
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Abbas to foreign audience: We want the two-state solution with a Palestinian state living in peace beside Israel 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, May 16, 2017

Speech by Abbas at the India Islamic Cultural Center in New Delhi, India

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "We are working to implement the two-state solution within the June 4, 1967 borders. In other words, an independent and sovereign Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem, which will live in security and peace beside the State of Israel."
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Abbas to Russian TV: option of peace is the only option for the future 
Source: Official PA TV Live, May 9, 2017
Official PA TV, broadcast of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ interview in Arabic with Russian channel RT Arabic on May 9, 2017

Interviewing for Russian media, Abbas stated that the PA’s only option is peace. However, as PMW has documented, this is rarely the message PA leaders present to Palestinians.

RT Arabic interviewer: “Why do you still adhere to a peaceful solution, when the Israelis are not interested in it? What are you trying to achieve?”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “What choice do we have? There is no choice for us – for us and for the world – other than a peaceful solution. There are no other options. I think that the military option does not exist in the near future, and has finished its role. We have no option but [a peaceful solution].”

PLO official: Abbas “emphasized his absolute refusal” to Israeli demands to stop PA salaries to terrorists 
Source: Amad, independent Palestinian news website, Apr. 29, 2017
Headline: “Karake demanded urgent international intervention and confirmed that an additional group of prisoners has joined the [hunger] strike of freedom and dignity”
      “Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake… explained in an interview with Radio Mawtini today, Saturday [April 29, 2017]… that ‘[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] emphasized his absolute refusal of the Israeli demands to stop the allowances (mukhassasat) of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids), and emphasized his absolute support for them (i.e., for the payments).’”
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Abbas: We want a "Palestinian state that will live in security and peace alongside the State of Israel" 
Source: Al-Watan (Qatar), Mar. 16, 2017
Headline: "[PA President Mahmoud] Abbas: Trump's representative came to listen and did not raise ideas or suggestions"
[Q:] "We will begin with the main event, and that is the phone conversation that American President Donald Trump had with you, and your important meeting with his Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. What was said in your first conversation with the US president, and did his conversation constitute a plan to eliminate the Palestinian cause, and not to resolve it?"…
[PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:] "This was the first time I spoke with Trump. He told me at the beginning of the conversation that he has heard much about me and he wants to invite me to visit the White House. I told him that I am ready to come at any time that suits him, and the conversation, which was not long but which was warm, ended. I told him that we hope that he will find a solution to the Palestinian issue after 70 years of occupation that will be based on two states, a Palestinian state that will live in security and peace alongside the State of Israel."…
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Abbas spokesman: Annexing Ma’ale Adumim will "lead to a new stage that will be uncontrollable" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 20, 2017
Article appearing on the front page of the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
Headline: “Abu Rudeina: The proposal to annex Ma’ale Adumim will lead to a new stage that will be uncontrollable”
     “Official Spokesman for the [PA] Presidency Nabil Abu Rudeina said that ‘Any Israeli decision regarding annexing the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim will be considered a grave and unacceptable escalation in our eyes.’
Abu Rudeina added: ‘This step will end all connections to any peace process, especially in light of the talk about transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem, and this step will lead to a new stage that will be uncontrollable.’
He continued: ‘Once again we warn against any steps that contradict the decisions of the international bodies, and particularly the latest [UN] Security Council Resolution [2334] that considered the settlement in all of the territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, as illegal.’ He noted that if Israel crosses this red line, all of the red lines will go down the drain.”

For more information abou UN Security Council Resolution 2334, click "full article."

Abbas: If US embassy is moved to Jerusalem "it will destroy the peace process" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 19, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] president: We adhere to peace, and transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem will destroy the peace process"
     "During a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart, [Polish President Andrzej Duda, PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] warned against transferring the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said that this would destroy the peace process, and added: 'We have heard things from American President-elect (Donald) Trump, but as of now we have not officially heard about the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem.'
He added: 'We want to hear what he says when he enters the White House - but if this step is taken, it will destroy the peace process.’ He added: 'We are not getting ahead of ourselves… it is better that we wait until he enters the White House and we hear from him directly as president of the US. Then there will be a response to every action, and if he decides to transfer the embassy to Jerusalem we will have a political and diplomatic response. We hope that it will not happen.'
The president emphasized his adherence to peace as an option from which there is no return. He noted that this year is likely to be the last opportunity to speak and act for the implementation of the two-state solution."

Abbas: "Transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem... will sabotage the peace process" 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Jan. 17, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] president: Transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem is provocative and will harm the peace process"
     "[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas said that transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem will sabotage all future progress and the peace process. He noted that it is not just provocative but beyond provocative, and will harm the entire peace process.
The president, who led a [PA] government meeting today (Tuesday) [Jan. 17, 2017] conveyed a message to [US] President-elect Donald Trump by saying: ‘We hope that he will not transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as Jerusalem is a united city in the eyes of Israel, and it is not right and not legal. Therefore, transferring the embassy will sabotage all future progress, and therefore will [also] sabotage the peace process. We hope that he will stop the transfer of the embassy and begin negotiations on the basis of the international decisions and [UN] Security Council Resolution 2334, and on the basis of the results of the Paris Peace Conference [held Jan. 15, 2017]. When it all ends, each side will know what its borders are. We know that our borders are based on the 1967 [borders], including East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine. So they will do what they want, [but] before that, transferring the embassy will be not just provocative but beyond provocative, and will harm the entire peace process.’"
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Abbas threatens to cancel recognition of Israel if US embassy is transferred to Jerusalem 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 15, 2017
Headline: “The [PA] president [Abbas] calls on participants in the Paris Conference to take tangible steps to implement the international decisions – transferring the American embassy will hinder the peace process, and canceling our recognition of Israel will be one of our options”
     “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday [Jan. 14, 2017] inaugurated the Palestinian embassy at the Vatican. He met with Pope Francis, and again warned against the plan of US President-elect Donald Trump to transfer the American embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem. During the inauguration of the embassy…
President Abbas emphasized that he ‘extends his hand to President-elect Trump for cooperation in order to reach peace on the basis of international law.’ He added that ‘any attempt to give legal validity to the illegal annexation of Jerusalem by Israel will eliminate the prospects of the political process, dispel the hopes of a solution based on two states, and encourage the extremism in our region and in the world.’ … President Abbas said that he wrote to Trump and warned him of the consequences of the transfer of the embassy, and noted that this ‘will not only negate any legitimacy of the US to fill a role in settling the conflict, but will also annihilate the two-state solution.’
He added that the Palestinians will discuss several options for a response, after consultations are held with Arab states, and said: ‘Cancelling our recognition of Israel will be one of them, but we hope that we will not reach that, and that instead we will be able to work with the next American administration.’”
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A similar item appeared on official PA TV News on Jan. 14, 2017.

Abbas warns Trump that embassy move will have "destructive consequences for the peace process" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 10, 2017
Headline: “The [PA] president called on Trump not to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem and sent letters to world countries in order that they intervene to prevent this step”
     “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump in which he explained the dangers of transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem. He called on the US president-elect not to carry out this step, due to its destructive consequences for the peace process, the option of two states, and the security and stability of the region in light of the fact that the decision of the occupation authority (Israel) [parentheses in source] to annex East Jerusalem is invalid, nullified, and contradicts international law.
The president also sent letters to the presidents of Russia, China, and France, to the German chancellor, to the British prime minister, to the European Union, to the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, in which he called on them to act and to invest every possible effort to prevent the step of transferring the American embassy to Jerusalem.”
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Abbas claims to Israeli delegation that he wants “peace through negotiations,” in contrast to messages to Palestinians 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 6, 2017
Headline: “The [PA] president: [UN] Security Council Resolution 2334 is a clear message that settlement will not lead to peace”

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Paris peace conference (i.e., part of the French Peace Initiative) that will be held this month [January 2017] constitutes an international opportunity for a solution of the Palestinian issue by determining an international mechanism and a timetable for implementation. This was said during his meeting last evening [Jan. 5, 2017] at the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah with an Israeli delegation that included hundreds of academics, writers, and political activists who support peace and who signed a petition that supports holding the Paris peace conference…

The president said: ‘We want to achieve peace through negotiations, and we oppose any other path and will not allow turning to it. We always declare that we are against terror, extremism, and violence everywhere in the world.’ The president noted that the arrival of the Israeli delegation despite all of the obstacles that were placed in its path by several parties emphasizes that there is a majority within the Israeli people that wants peace and is striving for it, and we extend our hands to peace and to an end of the occupation…

He added: ‘We do not want to go to the UN or to the Security Council, but some have placed obstacles to peace, and therefore we went and we will also go to the peace conference in Paris in order to bring about peace.’ The president expressed appreciation for the initiative of the Israeli delegation to support the Paris conference, and referred to the significance of the support for it within Israeli society, as well as from the international community, so that it will succeed and peace will be saved.

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Contrary to message in Arabic to Palestinians, Abbas states to Russian PM that the PA wants the two-state solution 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 12, 2016
Headline: “[PA] President: Our recognition of Israel cannot be for free, and it must implement the agreements that have been signed”

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that ‘Our recognition of the State of Israel cannot be for free, for at the same time there needs to be Israeli recognition of the State of Palestine.’ The president yesterday [Nov. 11, 2016], during a press conference with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in the city of Jericho, expressed his confidence that Russia will have an active and supporting role in every political process in our region…
The president said that [US President-elect Donald] Trump’s victory in the presidency is ‘an American issue.’ Likewise, he said: ‘We have followed the election process for over a year. What interests us is what Trump will say after he reaches the White House. What we demand of him is that the US will accept the solution of two states living side by side in security and stability, and that it will act to implement it.’”

Abbas congratulates Trump, expresses hope "that a just peace will be achieved during his tenure" 
Source: PNN Palestine News Network (independent Palestinian news agency), Nov. 9, 2016
Headline: “[PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas congratulated American President [Elect Donald] Trump and hopes that peace will be achieved during his tenure”
     “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas today, Wednesday [Nov. 9, 2016], congratulated American President [Elect] Donald Trump on his election, and expressed hope that a just peace will be achieved during his tenure.”

Abbas: I will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 27, 2016
Official PA TV aired an interview of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas originally broadcast on Sudanese TV during his visit to Sudan in July 2016
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “It is possible to sit around the negotiation table after we ask them what the meaning of a Jewish state is. I will recognize the State of Israel, I recognize the State of Israel, and that is it. However a Jewish state is not my affair. I will not recognize it at all and I will not accept it. In the past, in 1993, in mutual recognition between the late [Yasser] Arafat and [the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin, the one recognized the PLO and the other recognized the State of Israel, finished! When Israel made the peace agreement with Egypt it did not request of [Egypt] to recognize it as a Jewish state. When it made the Arava Agreement with Jordan (i.e., the Jordan peace agreement) it did not ask this of [Jordan]. Why is it asking us to recognize it as a Jewish state? Go to the [UN] General Assembly and change your name. If you wanted to change it, change your name. However, [if] you ask me, I will not accept and it is impossible that I will accept [the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state]. Let [Israel] continue to talk about a Jewish state and we will soundly reject it.”

Abbas' office emphasizes its opposition to attacks on civilians 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, June 9, 2016
Official PA TV News, about PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' office's announcement regarding rejecting violence against civilians
Official PA TV newsreader: "The [PA] president's office stated that it has emphasized time and again its opposition to all the operations (i.e., terror attacks) that harm civilians from all sides, regardless of the justification for such. The presidential office added in its statement that the achievement of a just peace and the creation of a positive atmosphere are what will contribute to the end and reduction of the reasons for tension and violence in the region. The presidential office concluded by saying that the achievement of peace obligates everyone to stop carrying out any act that increases the tension, anxiety, and use of violence.”

Muhammad Ahmad Musa Makhamreh and Khaled Muhammad Musa Makhamreh - 21-year-old Palestinian terrorists, cousins, who carried out a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016, murdering 4 Israelis and injuring 16. The terrorists ordered dessert in the Max Brenner restaurant in the Sarona Market before they began shooting at people. Muhammad Makhamreh and Khaled Makhamreh were both apprehended by the Israeli police. One of them was shot and wounded before being caught and brought for treatment in an Israeli hospital.

Abbas to Israelis: “We want to make peace with the entire Israeli people… For more than ten years we have been acting to spread the culture of peace” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 1, 2016
Headline: “The president: We do not sentence people based on political affiliation or ethnicity, but rather on their standpoint in regard to the peace process”
     “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas received an American delegation and a delegation of mayors of Israeli towns yesterday [May 31, 2016] at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah…
When he received the mayors of the Israeli towns, the president said: ‘We are acting to make peace with the Israeli people, who you represent. The meeting between us is taking place as part of this.’ He added: The attempt at coexistence in the villages in the Galilee conclusively shows that Palestinians and Israelis can live in two neighboring states in security and peace’… The president said: ‘We do not sentence someone based on his political affiliation or ethnicity, but rather according to their standpoint regarding the peace process. We know that since the period of [Israeli Prime Minister Menachem] Begin, it is the right [wing] that is able to make peace, but we want every Israeli – right or left, Ashkenazi or Sephardi, or anything else – to believe in peace with the Palestinian people. We welcome all groups of the Israeli people and its ethnicities, as we want to make peace with the entire Israeli people.’ He added: ‘As Eastern Jews, you have historical experience in living with Arabs, and therefore we wish you to serve as bridges to peace. We welcome everyone, as we want to live with you. We are human beings and we have a right to establish our independent state, but why are we criticized regarding this right?’ The President continued: ‘For more than ten years we have been acting to spread the culture of peace, and our doors are open before the entire Israeli people, as we want peace and to live in freedom like the rest of the peoples of the world.’”

Abbas on incitement: “We incite, and also you incite”; Calls for establishing incitement committee to gauge both Palestinian and Israeli incitement 
Source: Official PA TV Live, May 28, 2016
     Official PA TV, direct broadcast of speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas at Summit of Arab foreign ministers
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “There is an additional issue that the Israelis bring up, and that is the matter of incitement, in other words [they say] that the Palestinians incite day and night in the media, in school books, in statements, and in other manners. We say: ‘We incite, and you also incite.’ What is the solution? We found the solution in 1998, together with [Israeli Prime Minister] Mr. [Benjamin] Netanyahu personally and in an official agreement: A three sided committee will be established, Palestinian, Israeli, American, this committee will sit and discuss all the types of incitement from the two sides, and we are willing to accept the American decision. If they [the Americans] say we need to do something then we will accept that. However, in exchange for that, if [the Americans] say that Israel is inciting in one instance or another, Israel must accept that. But if Israel just piles on words, and says ‘the Palestinians are inciting against us and that is the end of the matter,’ [we will not agree to that], there are many unbelievably stupid, offensive words of incitement from the Israeli side, and they are [published] in different places, and if we want to talk about incitement we need to talk about incitement from both sides, and the arbitrator is the US, which is not our friend but their friend and patron, and ruler over them, and we will receive it as arbitrator. Therefore, if this issue comes up, we wish to bring attention to this.”

Abbas lies to Israeli Druze leaders: “Discourse of peace is discourse of Palestine” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 13, 2016
Headline: "The Gandhi of the Arabs"

Excerpt of editorial in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida

In meetings and interviews with foreign audiences, Abbas frequently expresses that peace is the only option for the Palestinians. However, as PMW has documented, this is rarely the message PA leaders present to Palestinians

"Yesterday [April 2, 2016] President Mahmoud Abbas received at the presidential headquarters a delegation of the honorable Druze who came from the Galilee and Carmel in order to express exceptional patriotic support of the president, his wise policy, and his realistic discourse – the peace discourse, which we will not forego or forsake…

So much so, that the head of the delegation, Sheikh Zidan Al-Atsheh described President Abbas as Gandhi of the Arabs'…

I n his words/statement to the delegation of our people the Druze, President Abbas emphasized that the discourse of peace will remain the discourse of Palestine… and that he will not fear condemnations due to this discourse, and will continue it without hesitation, just as he does not fear the arguments of those with populist slogans – those who fear and evade the truth and lie about what they call 'knife operations,' (i.e., stabbing attacks) which we do not want our children to be dragged into. After all, there is no sensible person who encourages such acts, as they have no connection to the true resistance, that which

PA daily op-ed: Abbas’ rejects youth knife attacks; remarks will “not find favor” with Palestinian supporters of violent youth uprising 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 3, 2016
Headline: "Abbas' children – on the future's path, and not as firewood"

Excerpt of op-ed by Muwaffaq Matar, Fatah Revolutionary Committee member and regular columnist for the official PA daily

"President Mahmoud Abbas' words about childhood and protecting the children of Palestine do not find favor in their eyes, and his firm standpoint regarding their being pushed into a bloody conflict will also not find favor in their eyes, as they cannot see themselves except within the [children's] spilled blood, and they are not able to exalt their names except by climbing ladders whose rungs are made of their (i.e., the children’s) soft bones. The professional (swindler) [parentheses in source] 'revolutionaries' and 'patriots'' arrows are beating down upon the president after each opportunity at which he repeats his standpoint regarding the pushing of Palestinian children into the furnace of violent conflicts. Those who opened fire on the president after his interview on Israeli TV Channel 2, after he said that the Palestinian security forces are careful to check children's backpacks and confiscate knives that one of them might be carrying, so that they will not be needlessly killed at Israeli checkpoints… ignore the moral collapse in most of the countries of the world, and are trying to convince us that whoever sees the children of Palestine in the 'Israeli occupation's holocaust' will rise against the state that defies international law. This is while no one refers to the tens of thousands of pictures of the children of Syria and Iraq…

It is easy for those whose feelings have dried up as a result of the conditions of the environment and the false inherited social and cultural climate to see children's brains spraying out of their heads, or to see tragic pictures of young children helplessly bleeding from deep wounds in their bodies, after being denied any assistance. The brains of these people a

Abbas to Israeli Druze leaders: “We want to make peace” and “renounce violence, terror and extremism” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 3, 2016
Headline: "The president: There are those who do not want that and who are fomenting the war in places like those and others"

In meetings and interviews with foreign audiences, Abbas frequently expresses that peace is the only option for the Palestinians. However, as PMW has documented, this is rarely the message PA leaders present to Palestinians

"[PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] hosted a delegation of the Druze people, led by Sheikh Zidan Al-Atsheh, and a delegation from the International Girls' Camp organized by the Fatah Shabiba [student] movement yesterday [April 2, 2016] at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah…

The president blessed the Druze delegation and said: 'You, from where you are, are messengers of peace. We want you to be messengers of peace between the state to which you belong (i.e., Israel) and the people to which you belong (i.e., Palestinians). There are many things that we can do together in order to reach the peace that we all hope for.' He added: Peace is the dearest, most ideal and most important goal for all of us. There are those who do not want peace and are fomenting the war in places like those and others, and therefore we support peace and renounce violence and terror.'

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