Friday, November 30, 2007

Abbas: Now is the moment of truth for Palestinian statehood

So Annapolis passed, and to my surprise, no violent uprising or terrorist acts took place within Israel. Of course, some 20 militants were stopped (some killed) when trying to pentrate Israel's border.

Still - the fear that a new cycle of violence will begin in conjunction with the summitt has proved to be false.

Yet, questions remain on the importance of the dialogue that took place.
In my opinion - a Palestinian state by end of 2008 is a truly aggressive goal.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told his people on Thursday the "moment of truth" on Palestinian statehood has come, following his participation in the Annapolis conference in the United States.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas agreed at the conference hosted by U.S. President George W. Bush this week to try to forge a peace treaty and create a Palestinian state by the end of 2008 - a timetable skeptics say is too ambitious.

"The time of extravagant promises by one rival trying to outbid another must go and not return," Abbas told a rally in Tunis, where he stopped on his way back from the United States. "Now is a moment of truth, not one of illusion," he added.

Abbas is locked in a power struggle with Hamas Islamists who control Gaza, part of the territories occupied in the 1967 Middle East war where Abbas wants to establish a Palestinian state.

"The stark truth says that the whole world recognized our Palestinian state with its East Jerusalem as its capital," Abbas said.

The Palestinian leader described future peace negotiations with Israel as a "political battle" but said he was optimistic about the outcome.

Negotiators will meet again on December 12 in Jerusalem.



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