Israel's continuing colonisation of the West Bank is leading to a "one-state solution", the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as saying on Monday by the Guardian. In an interview, which took place in London, the Palestinian leader has also indicated that he may be poised this week to accept an American proposal for "proximity talks" with Israel through US mediators.
He also insisted he would not allow any return to armed resistance. "There will be no return to armed struggle," Abbas said. "It will destroy our territories and our country." He also offered direct negotiations with Israel in exchange for a complete three-month settlement freeze. "If there is any substance in the response from the Israeli side – for example, if they accept the framework of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and an end to occupation, with timelines and mechanisms – then there will be progress," Abbas said.
He stressed he would be ready to resume full face-to-face peace negotiations if Israel froze all settlement construction for three months and accepted its June 1967 borders as the basis for land swaps. "These are not preconditions, they are requirements in the road map. If they are not prepared to do that, it means they don't want a political solution."
He noted that if Israel continued to resist an end to occupation, he would resign and refuse to stand in new elections: "I will have to tell our people there is no hope and no use in my staying in office."
The Palestinian president also defended Egypt's decision to build an underground wall on the Gaza Strip's southern border to prevent smuggling through tunnels. "I support the wall," Abbas said. "It is the Egyptians' sovereign right in their own country. Legitimate supplies should be brought through the legal crossings."