Abbas threatens to resign if he fails to reach Hamas deal

He has also appealed to Israel and the international community not to push Hamas "into a corner" but give it time to moderate its long-held stance of refusing to recognise Israel and renounce violence before mounting any boycott.

Accepting that Hamas's position in power has to be "compatible with international polices", Mr Abbas praised the faction's "wise and rational" Prime Minister-designate, Ishmael Haniya, as "flexible and diplomatic."

Mr Abbas said, in an interview for ITV1's Jonathan Dimbleby programme, that Hamas must go "very clearly" in the direction of renouncing violence and recognising Israel. He also suggested that the faction's tour of Arab states and Russia was likely to be influential. He added: "They will listen to many things that will make them think about their political position. I think they are now responsible and, in order to assume responsibilities, their policies have to be compatible with international policies."

But asked if he would resign if he cannot deliver what he wants in terms of the peace process, Mr Abbas said: "We could reach a point where I cannot perform my duty - then I will not continue sitting in this place. If I can do something I will continue, otherwise I won't."

Mr Abbas underpinned his threat by pointing out that, in 2003 he resigned as Prime Minister after making a similar threat when he failed to persuade the then president, Yasser Arafat, to reorganise control of the security services.

Mr Abbas implied, in his first international interview since the Palestinian elections, that the immediate priority was to secure agreement from Hamas to abide by all previous agreements - including the Oslo accords, which recognise Israel - and the "road map" for peace. Israel and the international community have declared this condition is additional to that of explicit recognition and the renunciation of violence.

The prospect that he might go if he fails to achieve progress - with both Hamas and the United States having urged him to stay in the post after the faction's election victory last month - probably remains his strongest card. At present, Israel has frozen its monthly $50m (£28.7m) remittance to the PA of the duties it collects on its behalf in response to the election victory. The US is also carrying out an urgent review of its funding of the PA.

Mr Abbas also indicated a possible compromise on a key dispute with Hamas over who will control the security services when Hamas assumes power. Pointing out that the police and preventive security forces fall under the Ministry of the Interior while the national security forces and presidential guard are run by the President, Mr Abbas said: "All these security forces have to work in harmony and in coordination."

Mr Abbas said that Hamas hadindicated that it will offer a long-term truce in return for an Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. He compared the current negotiations with the diplomatic dance before the signing of the Oslo accord when the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), he said, went within less than a fortnight from being seen as a "terrorist organisation" to signing the Oslo accords in the White House.

Mr Abbas appeared to reinforce Israeli scepticism that Iran can either afford to fund the PA or to channel cash through the Israeli-monitored banking system. He said "two questions" were: "Can Iran respond to all the demands of the Palestinian people? And ... how will the money be channelled to the PA?"

The Jonathan Dimbleby programme will be broadcast tomorrow on ITV1 at 10.25am.

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor