Abbas Calls on Palestinians to Embrace ‘Spirit, Values and Wisdom’ of Intifada
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Palestinians to embrace the “spirit, values and wisdom” of the first Palestinian intifada, which lasted for four years from 1987 to 1991, Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported on Sunday.
Speaking to members of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee at his Ramallah Mukataa government compound, Abbas lauded the intifada for ultimately empowering the Palestinians to enter the Madrid Conference of 1991, as well as the negotiations that spawned the Oslo Accords.
The four-year uprising — which led to the deaths of more than 1000 Palestinians and about 150 Israelis — also paved the way for the return of the Palestinian Liberation Organization after its exile from Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation and the Gulf War, said Abbas.
Additionally, the Palestinian leader lauded the Israel boycott movement, noting recent achievements at “churches and universities” in the U.S., a reference among other things to the United Church of Christ’s decision last week to divest from companies with business ties to disputed territories in the West Bank.
Also over the weekend, Abbas appointed a new PLO secretary-general: Saeb Erekat, a former Palestinian negotiator who recently suggested the Palestinian Authority review its recognition of the Jewish state, seeking to condition it on Jerusalem’s recognition of a Palestinian state.