May 15,2008 00:00
JERUSALEM -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday the "time has come" for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Speaking in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, as the Palestinians refer to the founding of the state of Israel and the displacement of its Arab population, Abbas also warned the continued building of Jewish settlements on the West Bank would undermine chances for peace, the Jerusalem Post reported.
"After 60 years since the Nakba, the time has come for the Palestinian people to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," the Post reported Abbas saying during a televised speech. "I again emphasize that the settlements are destroying the chance for peace. All the settlement construction, especially in Jerusalem and in the E1 area must stop, in order not to lose the chance for peace."
In the speech, Abbas vowed that Palestinians would never forget the Nakba despite Israeli hopes that it would fade from their memories.
"Israel has failed in wiping out the memory of the Nakba from the minds of successive Palestinian generations," the Post quoted Abbas. "They thought that perhaps the elderly would forget. Everyone remembers the Nakba."
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