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In the election, Abbas became President of the PA by winning 62 percent of the vote. Immediately following his victory, he proclaimed that “the little jihad had ended, and the bigjihad is now beginning.” Abbas also took the opportunity to dedicate his victory to “brother shahid [martyr] Yasir Arafat,” and paid tribute to all Palestinian “shahids and prisoners.”
In March 2005, Abbas issued an invitation to the Damascus-based leaders of several terrorist groups – among them Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – to relocate headquarters from Damascus to Gaza, and to join the PLO in a governing coalition as soon as Israel had completed its planned disengagement from its Gaza settlements.
Immediately after Israel had withdrawn its military forces and civilian residents from Gaza in August 2005, Abbas said: “We must remember that our achievements are the result of the sacrifices of the martyrs. … This step will be followed by further withdrawals from the West Bank and Jerusalem.” “We will continue the quest,” Abbas declared on August 30, “until not a single [Palestinian] prisoner is left in the Israeli jails.”
On September 12, 2005, Abbas delivered his first official speech since the Israeli withdrawal, in the compass of which he claimed that the Gaza Strip was still occupied because Israel, on the pretext of well-justified security concerns, had refused to surrender its control of several access points into Gaza.
The Weekly Standard reports that in December 2005, Abbas approved a law authorizing lump-sum payments of $2,200 to the surviving family members of “shahids” (martyrs)–including suicide bombers.
In early 2007, Abbas stated, “We [Palestinians] should put our internal fighting aside and raise our rifles only against the Israeli occupation.” Around the same time period, he said, “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the Intifada.”
In February 2007, Abbas signed an agreement officially making his Fatah movement a junior partner of Hamas. Explaining the move, Abbas said that “the only two options facing me were civil war or national unity, and I chose the second.”
That same month, Abbas sent effusive greetings via telegram to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Iran’s national holiday. According to the PA daily Al-Hayat Al Jadida, Abbas wrote:
I am happy to express to your excellency and, through you, to your honorable government and to your brother people, on behalf of the Palestinian people and their leadership and on my behalf personally, the warmest, most heartfelt wishes, in a prayer to Allah, that He shall bestow on you on this holiday further progress and prosperity.
When U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced, in November 2007, that peace eventually would come to the Middle East, Abbas refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
In the wake of a March 2008 slaughter of eight young yeshiva students by an Arab terrorist in Jerusalem, Abbas spokesman Saeb Erekat assured journalists — in English, for Western consumption — that Abbas condemned not only these killings but all attacks on innocent civilians, be they Palestinians or Israelis. However, Boston Globe writer Jeff Jacoby points out: “[J]ust a few days before the yeshiva massacre, Abbas had told the Jordanian daily Al-Dustur — in Arabic, for Arab consumption — that he is against terrorist attacks only for tactical reasons ‘at this time’ and that ‘in the future, things may change.’ He boasted of his long involvement with PLO violence — ‘I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965′ …”
In May 2008 a report by Palestinian Media Watch asserted that Abbas’ PA government not only supported terror, but was increasingly allying itself with America’s enemies such as Iran, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela.
On April 27, 2009, Abbas addressed the Palestinian Youth Parliament. In the course of his speech, he candidly rejected the legitimacy of Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, drawing enthusiastic applause from his audience. He said:
The “Jewish state.” What is a “Jewish state?” We call it, the “State of Israel.” You can call yourselves whatever you want. You can call yourselves whatever you want. But I will not accept it. And I say this on a live broadcast. It’s not my job to define it, to provide a definition for the state and what it contains. You can call yourselves the Zionist Republic, the Hebrew, the National, the Socialist [Republic] call it whatever you like. I don’t care.(Click here to see a video of Abbas delivering this quote.)
On July 4, 2010, Abbas eulogized Abu Dauod, mastermind of the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, who had died the previous day. Said Abbas: “He is missed. He was one of the leading figures of Fatah and spent his life in resistance and sincere work as well as physical sacrifice for his people’s just causes.”
In December 2010, Abbas reiterated his longstanding position that if a Palestinian state were to be established, no Jews would be p[ermitted to enter it: “We have frankly said, and always will say: If there is an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, we won’t agree to the presence of one Israeli in it … when a Palestinian state is established, it would have no Israeli presence in it.”
In a televised September 16, 2011 address to the Palestinian people, Abbas said that the following week, he would take the Palestinians’ request for full United Nations member state recognition to the U.N. Security Council on the basis of the 1967 territorial lines, even though he knew that the U.S. had vowed to veto such a resolution. Said Abbas:
We are trying to get a full membership in the U.N., on the ’67 borders, so we will be able, afterwards, to go back to negotiations…during which we will discuss final status issues, Jerusalem, refugees, borders, water, security, settlements and the issue of our prisoners, [who] by that stage will be prisoners of war, not terrorists or criminals. Even if this won’t be the case, they will be our top priority. The decision has been already taken and we aren’t intending to withdraw it. As soon as I give my speech at the UN General Assembly, I will hand the bid to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to pass it to the president of the Security Council.
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