(Washington, D.C.) — “Even as talks for a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace got off to a cautious start in Washington Monday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters in Egypt that no Israelis would be allowed to remain in a future Palestinian state,” reports the Times of Israel.
“In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli — civilian or soldier — on our lands,” Abbas said following a meeting with interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour in Cairo.
“Abbas was in Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials and discuss relations between the Palestinian Authority and Cairo as well as to negotiate a relaxing of border restrictions between Egypt and the Gaza Strip,” noted the Times. “The Palestinian leader also reiterated that he wants a total freeze on settlement construction, and that he will not agree to any compromise solution that would halt projects in smaller outlying Jewish communities in the West Bank while allowing continued building in the larger settlement blocs
“There was a request, ‘We’ll only build here, what do you think?’ If I agreed, I would legitimize all the rest (of the settlements). I said no. I said out loud and in writing that, to us, settlements in their entirety are illegitimate,” said Abbas.