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PA President Abbas calls Hamas to ‘spare Palestinians another Nakba,’ complete hostage deal

Hamas insists on demands that Netanyahu called ‘delusional’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reads a statement as he meets French President Emmanuel Macron in Ramallah, West Bank on October 24, 2023. (Photo: Christophe Ena/Pool/ABACAPRESS.COM)

In a highly unusual statement, the leader of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas called on the terror group Hamas to complete the hostage deal negotiations with Israel to avert a disaster for the Palestinian people.

“We call on the Hamas movement to quickly complete a prisoner deal, to spare our Palestinian people from the calamity of another catastrophic event with dire consequences, no less dangerous than the Nakba of 1948,” Abbas said, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Palestinians commonly refer to Israel’s victory in the 1948 War of Independence, and the ensuing flight of some hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and surrounding states as the ‘Nakba,’ meaning ‘catastrophe’ in Arabic.

Abbas also said a hostage deal could “avoid the occupation’s attack on the city of Rafah, which will lead to thousands of victims, suffering, and displacement for our people.”

Despite heavy international pressure and mounting criticism, Israeli officials have reiterated that the city of Rafah, the last major Hamas stronghold, would be the IDF ground operation’s next target in the Gaza Strip.

“We hold everyone responsible for placing any obstacles from any party to disrupt the deal because things are no longer tolerable, and it is time for everyone to bear responsibility,” Abbas said.

His statement came after the Israeli delegation sent to negotiate a hostage release deal in Cairo, Egypt, returned late Tuesday evening without any breakthrough in the stalled talks.

Hamas has demanded an immediate, permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the entire Gaza Strip, and the release of around 1,500 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the 132 remaining Israeli hostages.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed these demands as “delusional.”

“During the talks in Cairo, Israel wasn’t given any new proposal by Hamas for the release of the hostages,” the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.

“Netanyahu is adamant that Israel won’t give in to Hamas’ delusional demands. A change in Hamas’ position will allow moving forward in the negotiations.”

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan commended Abbas for his statement, saying that more leaders should hold Hamas responsible.

“Some of the international community’s pressure should be on Hamas, and Abbas coming forward today to do that has been unusual,” Sullivan said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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