Abbas backs Egypt’s efforts to end Palestinian internal split

RAMALLAH, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that he backs the Egyptian efforts to end the Palestinian internal split that has been going on since 2007.

Abbas made the remarks in a speech for late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died on Nov. 11, 2004.

Abbas, 83, succeeded Arafat in presidential elections held in the Palestinian territories in December 2005. Since then, he has been the president of the Palestinians and the chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization.

“We carry on with backing the efforts of our brothers in Egypt to implement the last reconciliation agreement reached in Cairo with Hamas movement in October 2017,” said Abbas.

The Palestinian internal split began in the summer of 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip and routed Abbas security forces from the enclave. Efforts to end internal split have so far failed.

Referring to Jerusalem considered by U.S. President Donald Trump as the capital of Israel last December, Abbas said “the city of Jerusalem is open for believers and worshippers that belong to all religions.”

He said the Palestinians “will work on consolidating the rights of our people in accordance with the UN Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Abbas also called for Palestinian unity, saying unity “is the most precious thing the Palestinians still have,” adding “the attempts of isolating Gaza from the entire Palestinian territories won’t pass.”

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