Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cuts ties with Israel

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas has cut all diplomatic ties and relations with Israel including any and all communications.

Abbas made his decision after recent Israeli crackdown on Palestinian militants has left over 100 people dead and dozens injured. On Saturday March 1, 70 Palestinians were killed in clashes. At least two soldiers of the Israeli Defense Force were also killed.

Abbas says that he will continue his silence towards Israel until "all aggression" against Palestine is stopped.

"The negotiations are suspended, as are all contacts on all levels, because in light of the Israeli aggression such communication has no meaning. The Israeli government has decided to prosecute an unjust war and the open slaughter of our people. It bears sole responsibility for the hindering the peace process and all the effects and consequences of this decision," said Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Abbas in a statement to the media.

According to reports by Africasia quoting Agence France-Presse (AFP), Israel calls the move by Abbas a mistake.

"Suspending peace talks is a mistake and it gives the keys to the negotiations to Hamas," said an Israeli official to AFP who was not named.

The United States among other nations have called for Israel to stop its strikes, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that "nothing will prevent us from continuing operations to protect our citizens."