JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas threatened to deliver an ultimatum to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu within a few days, placing full blame on the Jewish state for the stagnated peace process.
The threat follows a phone conversation Monday with President Barack Obama, who reportedly told Abbas the United States is committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. It was the first conversation between the two since they met in New York last September.
Abbas and other P.A. officials expressed their displeasure over meetings at the White House in February between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which centered on the Iranian nuclear threat rather than the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Additionally, the much-touted reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions -- Abbas' Fatah party and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip -- is also at a standstill. Fatah recently blamed Iran for "foiling attempts to achieve reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah."
"Iran is responsible for foiling attempts to achieve reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas," said Fatah central committee member Azzam al-Ahmed, the Lebanese paper al-Mustaqbal reported.
Meanwhile, Abbas recently announced his intention to call on the United Nations to initiate a fact-finding tour to Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") to "witness firsthand the illegal Israeli practices violating the Palestinian people's rights," the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency quoted P.A. Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki as saying.
In a related matter, the Palestinian Media Watch reported recently that Abbas sent a condolence letter to the family of a man who was killed after stabbing an IDF soldier.
"Earlier this month, two Palestinian terrorists attacked an Israeli soldier in Hebron and stabbed him with a knife. Despite his wounds, the soldier managed to shoot both terrorists, one of whom was killed while the other was injured," PMW reported in its latest bulletin.
Abbas called the soldier's actions to defend his life an "assassination." The P.A.'s official media referred to the incident as a "loathsome crime," while labeling the stabbing "legitimate struggle."
A government representative dispatched by Abbas to visit the families of the terrorists who attacked the soldier referred to his death as "cold-blooded murder," saying the attacker "expressed the pride of the Palestinian leadership in this generation and in this heroism."