Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has strongly rejected Israel’s plan to relocate the population of the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of the Islamist group Hamas. Abbas made his stance clear in a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Saturday, according to a statement from his office.
Abbas “categorically rejects” the eviction of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, as Israel forced residents to leave their areas ahead of a possible ground invasion. He also warned of a “horrendous” humanitarian crisis in Gaza due to the suspension of vital services and the lack of access to food, water, medicine and fuel.
Abbas called for an immediate end to the Israeli aggression and the settler attacks in the West Bank, as well as the “extremist actions” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which are worsening the situation. He also condemned the killing or maltreatment of civilians on both sides, and demanded the release of prisoners and detainees.
Abbas reaffirmed his commitment to the two-state solution based on international legitimacy resolutions, and said that peace and security in the region will only be achieved through the implementation of this solution.
The Gaza Strip is a densely populated coastal enclave that is home to more than 2.2 million Palestinians. It has been under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt since 2007, when Hamas seized control from Abbas’ Fatah movement. The blockade restricts movement, trade and access to basic services for the residents of Gaza.