Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said
on Friday that he has plans to meet with the Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli sources reported.  Sharon threatened to
thwart the Palestinian parliamentary elections if Hamas will contest
it.  Palestinians are not satisfied with Sharons Speech at the UN
general Assembly Meeting.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Friday
that he has plans to meet with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,
Israeli sources reported.

‘I will meet with Abbas if Bibi [his rival to the
Likud and premiership elections MK Benjamin Netanyahu] doesn’t defeat
me,’ Sharon said jokingly adding that the meeting could be held on
October 2.

Both Abbas and Sharon hinted that they will meet after coming back from the meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.

If held, this meeting would be their second
bilateral meeting after they met in the Sharm Al-Sheikh summit in Egypt
in February of this year.

The first meeting was held in Jerusalem few months ago, and was described by both Palestinian and Israeli officials as failure.

Abbas was supposed to fly on Tuesday to the U.S. to
attend the GA meetings, however, he decided cancel his trip after the
assassination of his advisor for military affairs, Mousa Arafat in
Gaza, and after Israel assigned Tuesday September 13, the day to hand
over the Gaza Strip after completing the evacuation of settlers and
demolishing their houses and removing the military bases they had in
the Strip. 

Apparently Sharon is interested to send a clear
message to Abbas that Israel will not allow the Palestinian elections
to be held if Hamas takes part in it.

Sharon reiterated his position about Hamas’
participation in the Palestinian elections in several meetings in New
York, as he was there for the UN GA meeting.

‘I don’t think they can hold elections without our
assistance, and we will make all possible efforts not to aid them if
Hamas participates,’ Sharon said. He mentioned leaving the roadblocks
installed by the Israeli army in place in the West Bank as one means of
making it impossible for Palestinians to vote.

In response, the Palestinian Authority urged Israel on Saturday not to interfere in upcoming elections.

‘The right of the Jewish people to the Land of
Israel does not mean disregarding the rights of others in the land,’
Sharon said in his speech before the General Assembly on Thursday.
‘They [Palestinians] are also entitled to freedom and to a national,
sovereign existence in a state of their own.’

In his speech, Sharon referred to Jerusalem as the
‘undivided capital of Israel’ and stated that Israel will continue the
construction of the wall inside the West Bank.

Palestinian officials said Friday that Sharon’s
speech at the United Nations on Thursday, in which he called for a
Palestinian state, fell short of their expectations.

PA official Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Friday the
speech shows Sharon intends to in cause the internationally backed road
map to fail, instead of trying to advance the peace process.

Palestinian senior negotiator Dr. Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, called on Israel to hold final-status talks with the Palestinians.

‘We invite Sharon to resume negotiations including
the issues of borders, refugees and Jerusalem, because peace is the way
for Israel and Palestinians to live in dignity and security,’ Erekat
said. ‘We stand ready in our responsibilities in the Palestinian

Palestinian Authority security adviser Jibril Rajoub, on the other hand, said that Sharon’s message was insufficient.

‘We need an unequivocal message: ‘I want security for the Israelis, within the ’67 borders,” Rajoub said Friday.

‘The message that everyone in the street got was
building settlements, what’s happening in Jerusalem, and the fence,’
Rajoub said in an interview on Israel Radio.

Local observers commented on Sharon’s speech as
deceptive as it creates an image that given the current situation in
the occupied territories there are chances for a viable Palestinian
state where in fact, the settlement blocs that Israel plans to annex to
its territory and the construction of the separation wall diminished
chances for a viable Palestinian state.