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Abbas warns against unspecified "hard steps" against Israel, USA



RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday told the PLO Parliament, which met since the 1990s, that he intends to take unspecified "hard" action "Soon against Israel and the United States."

Abbas told hundreds of delegates he was holding back on his rejection of any US proposals for an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty after the Trump administration approved the disputed Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December A decision to move the US Embassy in mid-May

"This is totally unacceptable," he told Palestinian National Council members at the inauguration of their four-day meeting in the West Bank, "We will not accept this deal and we will not be the US accept as sole mediator. "

Abbas appeared to reject media reports in which the powerful Kronpri Muhammad bin Salman was quoted as saying that the Palestinians should stop complaining and accepting what they are being offered by the Trump administration.

Abbas did not explicitly mention these reports, but said he had been assured that Saudi Arabia would continue to support Palestinian positions. "We hear a lot of rumors," he told the delegates. "Do not believe them."

83-year-old Abbas warned that in the near future he might take "hard steps in our relationship with our neighbors (Israel) and the Americans," saying they were important and far-reaching.

The meeting of the PLO Parliament takes place at a time of deep division between Abbas and his rival, the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has raised its leadership profile in recent weeks by organizing mass protests on the border with Israel. During the weekly marches thousands of Palestinians gather near the border fence, smaller groups approach the barrier, throw rocks or firebombs and burn tires.

Thirty-nine protesters were killed and more than 1,700 injured by the Israeli army's shelling last month. Israel, which has been criticized internationally for using lethal force against unarmed protesters, has the right to defend its border, claiming that Hamas uses the protests as cover for attacks.

Abbas praised the "Brothers in Hamas" "For taking over what he called peaceful resistance.

" Thank goodness they (Hamas) finally agreed and this is effective, "he said, while he was the organizers urged people to stay away from the border fence because of the high risk of damage

Some Hamas leaders have suggested that there may be a massive break in the border as protests continue.

Despite the rare praise for his rivals, Abbas made difficult ones Conditions for ending the internal political split in 2007, when Hamas drove the Gaza-based Abbas loyal forces into power one year after winning the Palestinian parliamentary elections, and since the seizure of power Israel and Egypt have pushed through a devastating border blockade against Gaza.

Egyptian mediators have suggested that the internationally supported Abbas has the government's responsibility in Gaza takes over to end the blockade. Abbas said on Monday that he would do so only if Hamas hands over all authority – an unlikely prospect as the militant group refuses to relinquish control of their weapons.

"Either they give us everything or they take everything," Abbas Hamas said

Later this week, the Palestinian National Council is to elect a new PLO executive committee, an 18-member leadership group that has over the last few years passed all the decisions of Abbas is restrained Abbas is expected to install a new group of loyalists on the committee.

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