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PLO Names Abbas President of Palestine


The PLO named Mahmoud Abbas the president of the future state of Palestine.

In a show of support, the group gave the Palestinian Authority president the symbolic title held by the late Yasser Arafat.

Abbas, the leader of the West Bank, has had frequent clashes with Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Also Sunday, the Damascus-based exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, verbally attacked Abbas for placing advertisements in Israel’s major daily newspapers over the weekend stating that 57 Arab countries would make peace with Israel if it pulled out of the West Bank, Gaza, parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

“I do not succumb to the Israeli-American veto. I do what is in the interest of the Palestinian people,” Abbas responded to Meshaal’s attack, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported.

Also on Sunday, Abbas said he would call elections early next year unless Hamas continues reconciliation talks with Abbas’ Fatah movement. Abbas and Hamas are deadlocked over when Abbas’ term ends. Abbas says he has another year; Hamas says his term ends at the end of this year.

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