al-Jazeera: Abbas defends his call to demilitarize the Palestinian Intifada
Palestine-Israel, Politics, 12/16/2004
Chairman of the PLO executive committee Mahmoud Abbas ( Abu Mazin) defended his call to halt militarization of the Intifada. He said in an exclusive statement to the Qatari al-Jazeera TV upon his arrival in Doha on a two day visit saying that the Palestinian interest necessitates that.
In another subject, Abu Mazin told al-Jazeera that the question of settling the Palestinians was not discussed with leaders of the countries he had visited in the course of his tour stressing the right of return to Palestinian. Abbas's statements came after both the two Islamic resistance movement ( Hamas ) and the Islamic Jihad refused his call to stop the militarization of the Intifada and considered it as not serving the Palestinian issue.
The spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, Sami Abu Zehri, said that such statements oppose the consensus position of the Palestinians on the legitimacy of resistance.
For his part, the leading figure in the Islamic Jihad, Muhammad al-Hindi, stressed the right of the resistance to keep their weapons. He noted the weapons disorder is not only stemming from resistance, rather the weapons of the security forces which he said that is in need of control.
On the other hand, the Israeli President Moshe Katsav welcomed the call made by Abbas to end the militarization of the Intifada. He told journalists in occupied Jerusalem that his position reflects on him as a leading figure and described his initiative as a step worthy to be respected.
This Israeli welcome came after a similar positive response from the White House. The spokesman for the American administration considered that "fighting terrorism" and putting an end to violence is a decisive matter for the progress of establishments building operations conducive to the establishment of the Palestinian state.
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