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‘We Denounce Terrorism ... in All Its Shapes’

These are excerpts from a speech by Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas as reported in an unofficial English translation on the Web site of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department:

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The root of our suffering and the source of our pain is the occupation and its detestable oppressive policies. We all commit to ending the occupation in all of its shapes and forms....

The government understands that citizens’ feeling of safety ... is the most important requirement for growth and progress in all aspects of life for both individuals and the community. Therefore, the unauthorized possession of weapons, with its direct threat to the security of the population, is a major concern that will be relentlessly addressed....

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I reiterate that the military and colonizing occupation ... is the main source of our problems.

The occupation impedes our growth, and therefore ending the occupation in all of it forms and from all of the territories occupied since 1967, including our eternal capital Jerusalem, is our national priority ....

While we should learn from the lessons of the past, what we are living under does not cause us to lose hope in the benefits of peace, or to turn our backs on Arab and international initiatives that aim to achieve peace.

Before us, we have the Arab peace initiative that came out of the summit in Beirut.... We also have before us the “road map” as an international blueprint that aims to reach a permanent solution to the Palestinian question. The government is committed to the Palestinian leadership’s official approval of this plan....

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Yet, what we have outlined will be meaningless if Israel’s policy of imposing facts on the ground continues.... Settlements are the primary obstacle to any peace process....

The construction of the so-called separation wall is a dangerous continuation of the colonization project....

Here, I would like to address the Israeli people and the Israeli government frankly and directly. We want a lasting peace with you achieved through negotiations and on the basis of international law....

We denounce terrorism by any party and in all its shapes and forms both because of our religious and moral traditions and because we are convinced that such methods do not lend support to a just cause like ours, but rather destroy it. These methods do not achieve peace, to which we aspire....


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