Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday he needed more time to reconstruct the PA security forces. He promised not to stay in office even for one day if he fails to end the state of lawlessness.Ã‚Â
Speaking to Palestinian Journalists in his Rammalah office, Abbas denied that he had ordered the expulsion of Fatah gunmen from the Presidential compound last week, saying the gunmen misunderstood his intentions, thinking that he was abandoning them without assurances regarding their safety.
Abbas explained that any gunman who joins the security forces would be allowed to carry weapons. Yet, the ones who will be appointed to civil positions, Ã¢â‚¬Å“they don’t need to carry weapons,’Ã‚Â
Abbas confirmed an agreement with Israel concerning Ã¢â‚¬Å“wantedÃ¢â‚¬Â Palestinians.
‘Israel has agreed to stop pursuing the wanted men,.. We’re talking about 495 wanted men in the West bank and another 27 in the Gaza Strip.’ he said.Ã‚Â
Abbas also pledged to fight corruption, disclosing that he had established a special committee to look into the personal fortunes of top PA officials.
‘We have started the process of merging the security forces into three organizations, but this requires some time,’ Abbas said.Ã‚Â
Abbas described the last week riots in Ramallah as an ‘ugly act’, vowing to bring those involved to trial very soon.
Concerning enforcing law and order in the PA controlled areas, Abbas told Palestinian reporters: ‘I don’t have a magic wand and we won’t see results in a day or two, but I have the will and determination,’
Abbas explained that no final date had been set for his trip to the U.S., adding that he is determined to fulfill the PA road map commitments.
‘We want to tell the Americans that we have fulfilled our commitments and we don’t care whether the Israelis have met their commitments or not,’ he said.
Answering to a question on the disengagement plan, Abbas said Israel should realize that pulling out of Gaza does not mean a pullout to pre-1967 borders. And that the pullout should be in the context of the road map and not an alternative to it.
Abbas vehemently rejected the idea of a Palestinian state with temporary borders, implying that Israel should withdraw from all territories occupied in 1967.
Abbas also denied reports that he was considering postponing legislative elections slated for July 17 over fears of a Hamas decisive triumph.
PA officials on Tuesday denied reports that Abbas was considering firing Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei and said the two continue to work together.
‘These reports are completely untrue and fabricated,’ said Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a close aide to Abbas.