Palestinian officials slammed an Israeli report that claimed that Saudi Arabia puts pressure on Palestine. Israel's Channel 10 reported last Sunday that Saudi Arabia ordered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accept a U.S. peace initiative or resign.
"We completely reject the Israeli report. This is not true at all. Abbas's meeting in Saudi was a positive one," a spokesperson for Abbas's Fatah party, Osama Qawasmeh told Al-Jazeera yesterday. Palestinian president Abbas held talks with Saudi King Salman last Tuesday on his first visit to the kingdom since last month's landmark reconciliation accord between rival factions Hamas and Fatah.
Under an Egyptian-brokered deal signed between Abbas's Fatah and the Islamist Hamas movement on Oct. 12, the Palestinian Authority is due to resume full control of the Gaza Strip by Dec. 1. Abbas's visit to Riyadh comes after Hamas handed over control of the Gaza Strip's borders with Egypt and Israel to the Palestinian Authority last week, in the first key test of the accord.