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Abbas speech: “We want to live with them [Israel] in security and peace. We want to build our state alongside their state”

PA TV broadcasts speech by Chairman Mahmoud Abbas held in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Dec. 24, 2011, on the occasion of Christmas Eve and the visit by Jordanian Minister for Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, who later, in January 2012, hosted meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.
     "The number of mosques [targeted by Israeli arsonists] is more than five, aside from the mosques which were burned inside Israel itself. I think that this cannot be considered a moral act. We, the adherents of the three religions upon this holy land, have lived here together for thousands of years. Why are they now burning mosques? We say [that] the mosque, the church and the synagogue embrace one another in this holy land. One side cannot deny the right of the other side. We want to live with them [Israel] in security and peace. We want to build our state alongside their state. We believe in the two-state solution: the existing State of Israel and the State of Palestine which expects to exist, so that these two states may live side by side in security and stability. I hope that they will come to their senses; I hope that they will understand that we truly seek peace and do not seek war, and do not seek terror, or anything that would disturb them. We want to live with them. But also, if they do not want [to negotiate], that is their business, and if they want to insist on their position, then it will be they who lose, and we also lose. We do not want to lose this battle – neither us nor they, until we reach a peace that is comprehensive, just, and sustainable."
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