Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly intimated that Israel was trying to kill him, as it killed his predecessor Yasser Arafat.
In an interview with the Lebanese news channel Al-Mayadeen to be broadcast Friday, Abbas first accused Israel of pressuring the Palestinians to “get rid of” chief negotiator Saeb Erekat for “knowing too much.” He then reiterated three times, according to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, that there are those who are trying to kill him and get rid of him, and stressed that Arafat went in the same way.
Abbas also claimed that Israel has agreed to allow 150,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria to enter the West Bank, an assertion the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office adamantly denied on Monday.
Earlier this month, Abbas told the Egyptian press that Israel had agreed to allow an unspecified number of refugees fleeing violence in the Yarmouk refugee camp to enter the West Bank on condition that they forgo in writing their “right” to return to Israel proper. Abbas told the journalists that he rejected the Israeli condition.
According to Ma’an, Abbas also claimed in the two-hour Lebanese interview that a historic link existed between Zionism and Nazism.
“I challenge any of them [the Israelis] to deny the ties between Zionism and Nazism before World War II,” Abbas said, adding that he had 70 unpublished books [on the topic] which he promised to expand upon in a future interview.
The title of Abbas’s doctoral dissertation, written in the Soviet Union, is “The other side: The secret relationship between Nazism and Zionism.” In it, Abbas claimed that Zionism fabricated the “myth” of six million murdered Jews.
Abbas also said that preparations were under way for the return of Nayef Hawatmeh, secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), who has been based in Damascus. Hawatmeh was banned from the West Bank by Israel for his part in the Ma’alot massacre of Israeli high school students in 1974 in which 22 students and three other hostages were killed.
The Prime Minister’s Office denied Abbas’s claims on the issue of Palestinian refugees, but did not immediately comment on the other matters raised in the interview. A source in the PMO said the interview was full of inaccuracies.