Abbas says to discuss PA fate with Hamas
President Mahmoud Abbas plans to discuss the fate of the Palestinian Authority with his rivals Hamas next month, raising questions over its future with the peace process at a dead end Reuters reported
The remarks make clear Abbas is seriously mulling the future of the PA, which was set up as a state-in-waiting 17 years ago but is now seen by critics as compromised body that eases the burden of occupation for Israel.
"The Authority is not an authority. People and Palestinian institutions are asking me about the benefits of the continuation of the Authority," Abbas said in comments to his Fatah party published by Wafa news agency Thursday.
"We want to answer this question and therefore it will be one of the subjects we will discuss with our brother Khaled Mashaal, leader of Hamas," Abbas said, according to a text of the address that he delivered on Wednesday.
"The question we must answer is where are we heading?"
Abbas, 76, offered no clues about what he could do to the PA, which depends on the financial support of donors including the European Union, the United States and Arab governments.
Today, its mandate is limited to patches of West Bank land encompassing the main Palestinian cities and villages, territory handed to the PA under interim peace agreements in the 1990s.
The West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem are territories Israel captured in a 1967 war and where Abbas' supporters aim to found an independent state.
Peace talks aimed at bringing about independence are at a standstill because of a dispute over Israel's expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.