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Palestinian Pres. says Israel doesn't want peace

KUWAIT, March 25 (KUNA) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday the Palestinians were keen on achieving peace with the Israelis but the latters were placing hurdles in the path of peace.
Abbas, addressing the 25th Arab summit in Kuwait, said Arab leaders should have a "united vision" to address challenges so the Arab citizen became a believer in the Arab League.
Abbas, who thanked Kuwait for supporting his people, said the Israeli government believed that challenges facing the Arab countries make them vulnerable "thus it escalated its aggression, like the expansion of settlements in occupied Jerusalem, destruction and demolishing of properties and the imposition of siege and to impose a final settlement that is tailor made by Israel." He said the Israeli authorities were also tarnishing the Arab, Islamic and Christian identity of the city of Jerusalem in a systematic manner.
Abbas praised the American endeavors to achieve peace in the region, but Israel "thwarted the American efforts," and neglected international legitimacy, which reflected its rejection to end occupation but to enforce it in many ways.
Abbas said Israel's new condition was to recognize it as a Jewish state, which "we refuse to discuss it." Abbas said the Palestinians wanted to establish a state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4 1967 borders, an independent state with full control of its resources and boundaries.
He called for solving the Palestinian refugees' issue in line with UN resolution 194 in order to end this "historic injustice" against them.
Abbas said Israel was trying to evade from an agreement with the American administration to release the Palestinian prisoners.
The Palestinian leader urged the Arab countries to continue budgetary assistance, thanking Saudi King Abdullah's USD 200 million contribution to the Palestinian people.
Abbas, meanwhile, said the Arab world was facing critical circumstances which needed to be addressed urgently. (pickup previous) kt.bs KUNA 251938 Mar 14NNNN