Mahmoud Abbas said infighting among Palestinians could spill into civil war. “On the internal front, the cause of everybody’s concern is what is called the security chaos, or more precisely, standing on the brink of civil war,” the president of the Palestinian Authority said in a speech Tuesday, referring to recent street battles between his Fatah faction and the dominant Islamist group Hamas. Abbas, speaking on the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War, called the conflict in which Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip a “black date.” But he also sounded upbeat about efforts to achieve a state through negotiations with Israel. “Despite all the difficulties, we are taking steps toward statehood, a target that is getting closer,” he said. “We are ready to negotiate forthwith – fully, sincerely and responsibly.” Abbas is scheduled to meet Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, after which the latter will fly to Washington for consultations with President Bush.
Abbas fears civil war