Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suggested that new elections for president and vice president be held in four years.  Abbas’ suggestion came during his speech before a special session for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Gaza, held on Tuesday.

‘The main issue we are meeting over today is to invent a new post for a vice-president, within the structure of the Palestinian Authority,’ said Abbas.  ‘I have suggested this before, and found no objections from the PLC before.’

‘I will nominate some people to the PLC, and it is their choice at the end,’ Abbas said.  ‘I think there will be elections in four years where Palestinians will elect a president and a vice-president together.’

Abbas argued that a vice-president post would protect the Palestinian Authority from ‘earthquakes and shakes.’

Abbas slammed the deal reached between the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. President George W. Bush regarding the disengagement plan.

‘A bomb went of on April 14, 2004 in Washington, when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reached a deal with U.S. President George Bush,’ Abbas said.  Their agreement was ‘seen by many as a great achievement, but others saw it as a mine field. The deal was that Israel, in exchange to pulling out of the Gaza Strip settlements and the four West Bank ones, the large settlement blocs that exist in the West Bank would remain under Israeli control and will be annexed to Israel in future peace agreement with the Palestinians.’

‘Israel will therefore solve its problem with the Palestinian refugees by sending them to the Palestinian state,’ said Abbas.

He described the pullout from the Gaza Strip, on the other hand, as a dream coming true, explaining that it is the beginning of the end to the occupation.

Abbas urged the Palestinians to ensure a calm withdrawal, saying an orderly transfer of control would boost the Palestinian quest for statehood.

He warned against claiming any of the evacuated land as private property.  Those who can prove ownership will get back their land, and the rest will remain public.

Abbas also warned against premature celebrations.  ‘It is not time for celebrations yet,’ he said. ‘We want them out first, then we celebrate.’

He also demanded an end to the display of weapons in the streets, dec laring that ‘It is more civilized to have only one authority and one weapon.’

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