At ceremony commemorating Yasser Arafat's death, PA Chairman Abbas says two-state solution is in danger, promises not to give up on Gaza.
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday spoke at a Fatah assembly in Gaza, slamming the Balfour Declaration and claiming it was an attempt to remove "Palestine" from history and geography.
The Fatah assembly commemorated 13 years since arch-terrorist and Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat died of AIDS.
In his speech, broadcast on television, Abbas said "Palestine" had survived despite the Balfour Declaration thanks to the shahids (martyrs), the wounded, and the imprisoned.
Abbas also called on the UK to rectify its "historical mistake" by apologizing to the "Palestinian nation," recognizing an independent "Palestinian state," and compensating "Palestinians" for the damages caused since 1917.
Regarding the PA's reconciliation agreement with Hamas, Abbas said, "We are proceeding with the Palestinian reconciliation. We will continue these efforts until we achieve one authority, one law and one legal weapon."
"Timely implementation of the agreement...and fully empowering the [PA] government will definitely ease the hardships and bring hope of a better future for all of us."
Abbas said "no one" cares more about Gaza's people than he does, and promised that there would be "no [Palestinian] state without Gaza, or a state only in Gaza."
He also said the PA "maintains the culture of peace and fights terrorism in the region and the world." He claimed to be working with the US administration "and other concerned international bodies" to reach a peace agreement "based on international resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the two-state solution" with eastern Jerusalem as the PA's "capital."
"We renew our call to the countries which believe in the two-state solution. We call on these countries to recognize two states, and not only one state," he said.
"The two-state solution is now in real danger.
"We will demand equal rights for the people of historic Palestine if a two-state solution is not implemented."
However, Abbas also said the PA would support a "one-state solution" with "full equality of rights for all its citizens" if a two-state solution proved impossible.
It is not clear what a "one-state" solution means to Abbas.