Abbas rejects Israeli demands as report says 834 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in 2004
Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Wednesday he is expected to meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas for diplomatic talks soon. The meeting will likely take place before the Palestinian leader's visit to Washington later this month.
On his part, Abbas on Tuesday slammed Israel's unilateral suspension of his Sharm el-Sheikh "understandings" with Sharon on February 8 as a pressure to dictate on him how to manage inter-Palestinian relations, saying the Jewish state is tresspassing a "red line."
"Israelis want Palestinian blood to be spilled, and we don't accept that," the official news agency WAFA quoted Abbas as saying. Refusing Israeli attempt to dictate internal Palestinian policy, Abbas said: "This is a red line. We run our security in our own way, for our people's protection."
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) said Wednesday that 834, including 165 children, 13 women and 19 over 60 years old were killed by Israeli fire in 2004.
In its annual report of the human rights situation in occupied Palestinian territories, PCHR revealed that the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since the beginning of the Intifada in September 2000 has increased to 3,196, including 618 children. In addition, thousands of Palestinians, including 8,545 in the Gaza Strip, have been wounded since September 2000.