Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the German online publication Spiegel Online International this week that he does not “want to run again” if new elections are held. Ever since Abbas’s presidential term officially expired in January 2009, new Palestinian elections have yet to take place.
“I am willing to have elections at any time, but Hamas refuses it. Currently, we are negotiating the creation of a unity government with Hamas in Qatar. We can conduct elections as soon as we have a unity government,” Abbas said in response to a question regarding the decline in his popularity and whether or not he fears a Hamas takeover in the West Bank.
Abbas’s interview with Spiegel Online International also covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace process.
“I am constantly asking the Americans and Europeans: What are my mistakes? They confirm that I made no mistakes. It is the Israeli side which misses all the chances for peace,” Abbas said.
Abbas said he opposes terror attacks against Israelis, but that such attacks would stop if Israel stopped “occupying” Palestinian land.
“If Israel stops this, no child will take a knife to attack Israelis,” he said.