Cracking down on Hamas, Jihad and the Palestinian organizations is not an option at all

Original title: PM Abbas ‘Cannot Come Back Empty Handed from Washington

 Palestine Media Center- (PMC) ,23/07/2003
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is expected to try “to convince” US President George W. Bush “to pressure” Israel to carry out its obligations in compliance with the US-sponsored “roadmap” peace plan, when both men meet in Washington Friday, July 25, in an encounter that would be a turning point in the Palestinian – Israeli conflict.
Despite the drop in violence in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, progress on implementing the US-backed “roadmap” peace plan is stalled.
Speaking after a meeting with Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa in Cairo Tuesday, Abbas said he would use his trip to Washington “to convince (the United States) with our viewpoint in order to pressure Israel and in order to carry out its duty toward the Palestinian issue.”
It is necessary that the meeting between Abbas and Bush in the White House has to come up with a comprehensive implementation plan for the “roadmap,” Palestinian lawmaker and former chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
“There has been a series of meetings between (Israeli PM Ariel) Sharon and Abbas, as well as between (Palestine National Authority) PNA minister of security affairs Mohammed Dahlanand and Israeli ‘Defense’ Minister Shaul Mofaz, but unfortunately we didn’t reach any tangible solutions,” Erekat said.
“We hope that the forthcoming meeting between Premier Abbas and President Bush would be decisive and final concerning the mechanisms of implementation, otherwise we can only expect the worse.”
Abbas “cannot come back empty handed from Washington,” Erekat added. “It’s essential for Bush to send (Abbas) back with a comprehensive implementation plan … especially timelines and monitors.”
Abbas’ scheduled White House meeting Friday will be the first in almost three years for a Palestinian leader, and will be followed by Bush’s meeting with the Israeli premier Sharon on July 29.
Erekat said Abbas plans to tell Bush that the Palestinians have taken many steps, but that he has met with Sharon four times and “nothing is accomplished,” adding: “The whole situation is fragile.”
The “roadmap,” formulated by the US, European Union, Russia and United Nations, calls for an end of violence and the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2005.
The Palestinians want to see a “comprehensive implementation,” including the freezing of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; the re-opening of PNA offices in Jerusalem, which Israel has closed over the last three years, and the release of prisoners, Erekat said.
“He will ask help from President Bush [in all these things],” he said.
As for Palestinian accomplishments to date, Erekat said Abbas will mention the temporary ceasefire, the formation of an Israeli-Palestinian security committee, financial reforms and the beginning of the consolidation of the security branches.
“[He will reiterate] the commitment of the Palestinian side to fulfill its obligations,” Erekat said.
In Cairo Monday, Abbas said that a crackdown on anti-Israeli occupation activists and groups was out of the question.
“Cracking down on Hamas, Jihad and the Palestinian organizations is not an option at all,” Abbas was quoted as saying. “We are applying the law which we accepted under the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, and that is what we will do.”
Erekat said that Abbas would tell Bush that, “After the hudna (truce), anyone who breaks the ceasefire, [we will] arrest and bring them to justice.”
Abbas, fearing a civil war, rejects a confrontation, preferring an end to violence through Palestinian national dialogue and negotiation. One example is the June 29 unilateral cease-fire by the main Palestinian groups, which has led to a significant reduction in attacks.

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