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Abbas: Not trying to delegitimize Israel

Aug. 12, 2011 at 11:07 AM   |   Comments

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RAMALLAH, West Bank, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told U.S. congressional members he wants a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza -- without settlements.

Abbas reviewed Palestinian policy on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-state solution and the 1967 borders that would lead to the establishment of the Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the Palestine News Agency reported Thursday.

The 1967 borders were Israel's borders before the 1967 Six Day War that led to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Abbas told a delegation led by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., that security for the state would be the responsibility of a third party composed of NATO forces -- with the United States in command.

Asking the United Nations for recognition of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders does not contradict the essence of the peace process, he said. He said it wasn't meant to isolate or delegitimize Israel but promote the two-state solution.

Hoyer said Palestinian Authority leaders were sending mixed signals concerning action at the United Nations in September, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"Fayyad said that the decision to go to the U.N. had not been made, in other words had not been finalized, which we were pleased to hear," Hoyer said. "Then we met with Abbas … and the discussions were different from Fayyad in the sense that he talked throughout as if the decision had been made and that they were going to the U.N."

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