Abbas: Mideast to remain "flaming" without peace in Palestine

11:42, December 25, 2010      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday said the Middle East will remain "flaming" if peace was not achieved between the Palestinians and Israel.

"Our hands are always extended for peace," Abbas told reporters on the sidelines of his visit to Bethlehem, where he joined Christians marking the Christmas.

He added that the Palestinians only want a state on the lands that Israel has occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as "our capital and West Jerusalem as their (the Israelis) capital."

Israel refuses to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians, and this has been a problematic issue in stalled peace talks.

The U.S.-brokered negotiations stopped in September, after Israel resumed building settlements in the West Bank.

The Palestinians plan to go to the UN Security Council to seek recognition of their statehood, but Israel and Washington said the Palestinian state should come through negotiations, not a result of "unilateral measures."

Earlier in the day, Abbas said he does not understand why the U.S. administration opposes an Arab attempt to get a Security Council resolution against Jewish settlement constructions.

"We are demanding a freeze to the settlement and this is exactly what Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton demanded," Abbas said.

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