On Saturday, at the 26th Arab summit, convened in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheikh, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian relationship with Israel cannot continue as it has in recent years, Ma’an reported.
Fourteen Arab presidents, kings, and emirs were in attendance at the summit which will continue through to Sunday and will ultimately address 11 issues, largely dominated by discussions on the creation of a joint Arab force, but also including the Palestine-Israel conflict and recent developments in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
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Abbas expressed his support for the Saudi side in the conflict in Yemen.
Abbas said that Israel had taken over the Palestinian Authority’s powers and responsibilities, citing in particular the confiscation of Palestinian tax revenues.
He said: “We have decided to re-evaluate our economic, political and security relationship with Israel, and will be holding elections as soon as possible.”
Speaking against “normalizing relations with Israel, ” he said: “We are looking forward to activating an Arab financial security net.”
Israel announced on Friday that it would release hundreds of millions of dollars in tax funds it had withheld from the Palestinian Authority as punishment for joining the International Criminal Court.
In normal times, Israel transfers around $127 million in customs duties each month to the Palestinian authority.
Abbas warned of a future in which the West Bank and the Gaza Strip become separate states, leaving Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugee crisis forgotten.
Abbas said that it would not be long before Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem was complete.
Abbas, who celebrated his 80th birthday last Thursday, also said that the main obstacles to the reconstruction of Gaza were Israel on one side and Hamas on the other.