Abbas asks for protection at Arab summit

March 29, 2008 at 1:23 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, March 29 (UPI) -- Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking at an Arab Summit in Syria Saturday, asked for regional protection for Palestinians.

During the Arab leadership gathering in Damascus, Abbas accused Israel of attempting to prevent the creation of an independent Palestinian state by splitting apart regional Palestinian territories, KUNA reported.

The Palestinian leader said those efforts were endangering Palestinians and he called on the summit leaders to offer increased protection to them, the Kuwaiti news agency said.

"Amid the ongoing Israeli escalation in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, we are seeking Arab and international protection of our people," Abbas said.

Abbas said he has attempted to quell the growing conflict through an offer of a mutual truce with Israel. The Palestinian official said he also has been in contact with Israeli officials regarding a plan to control border crossings in Gaza, KUNA reported.

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