Abbas: 'Occupation' Torpedoing Two-State Solution

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JERUSALEM, Israel - In an interview with Great Britain's the Guardian, posted on Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would consider "proximity talks" with the Jewish state through U.S. mediators.

The interview took place after meetings in London with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

"If there is any substance in the response from the Israeli side - for example, if they accept the framework of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and an end to occupation, with timelines and mechanisms - then there will be progress," Abbas told the British newspaper.

He also said he might be persuaded to resume direct negotiations if the Israeli government issues a three-month building freeze that includes Jerusalem.

"These are not preconditions. They are requirements in the road map. If they are not prepared to do that, it means they don't want a political solution," the PA leader said.

Abbas claimed that Israeli activities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) were "leading to a one-state solution," which they reject.

According to Abbas, Hamas - the Palestinian faction that wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah-affiliated PA forces in June 2005 - is now "talking about peace and a truce with Israel."

He also expressed support of Egypt's underground wall along the border with Gaza.

"I support the wall. It is the Egyptian's sovereign right in their own country," Abbas said, adding that "legitimate supplies should be brought through legal crossings."

Abbas also said Palestinians would not start a third intifada (armed uprising) under his rule because it would "destroy our territories and our country."

The PA president promised to resign unless peace talks - which he has refused since last April - resume.

"I will have to tell our people there is no hope and no use in my staying in office," Abbas told the Guardian, adding that his resignation would likely prompt a resumption of terror attacks against Israelis.

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