Abbas: Hold Israel responsible for war crimes


PARIS (JTA) — Israel needs to be held responsible for war crimes, Mahmoud Abbas told the European Parliament.

"We don’t want to continue being Israel’s enemies. We are holding out our hand to Israel to make peace. But what was done (by Israel during its operation in Gaza), were, unfortunately, war crimes," said Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, during a meeting Wednesday of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, according to the Associated Press.

"It is clear that we need to hold (Israeli officials) responsible, so that this doesn’t happen again," he added, accorded to the French weekly, l’Express.

"Israel is still prisoner of a colonial mindset, above international law," said Abbas, according to the same French report. He called on the "international community to compel Israel to stop its destructive policies."

Abbas said he was seriously considering employing armed international protection in the territories.

He also said a unified government with Hamas was still a possibility, according to reports, and is currently touring Europe to drum up support for that option, as well as for money to rebuild in Gaza.

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