Photo Credit: Flash 90
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads Fatah and the PLO

Citing the courage and strength of thousands of Arab residents of Jerusalem during the 13 days of protests in July against new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount in the wake of the deadly shooting of two Israeli police, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night called Jerusalem “the eternal capital of the state of Palestine and nothing else,” WAFA reported.

Addressing hundreds of Jerusalem Arabs in his Ramallah headquarters, Abbas said the “Palestinian leadership listened to Jerusalemites’ appeals and would continue to do so.”

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“We should preserve the victory achieved in Jerusalem to achieve another victory or to take another step forward,” Abbas said, adding, “We will all remain as murabitun (recruits) in Jerusalem, in Al-Aqsa.”

Abbas also confirmed in the same speech that the PA would continue to block financial support to the Gaza Strip as long as the Hamas movement did not stick to the PA-mandated terms of “reconciliation.”

Abbas declared that there are elements working to widen the split between Gaza and Ramallah in order to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Abbas’ comments came following a Hamas announcement on Thursday that it was ready to do away with its administrative committee in Gaza, should the PLO-led PA retract all its punitive measures which have deprived the Gaza Strip of electricity over the past few months.

Hamas said in response to Abbas’ Saturday speech that the Chairman’s threats against the Gaza Strip were “an explosive charge placed on the reconciliation efforts,” blaming Abbas of acting to further deepen Gaza’s isolation.

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