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Abbas: State with temporary borders would be a 'trap'

By the CNN Wire Staff
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses Fatah party leaders in Ramallah on Saturday.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses Fatah party leaders in Ramallah on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Palestinian Authority president says he would not accept state with temporary borders
  • U.S. envoy George Mitchell held talks with both Palestinians and Israelis Friday
  • Palestinian leader hesitant to rejoin talks without commitment on settlements

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that he would not accept a Palestinian state with temporary borders and described an Israeli proposal for such an arrangement as a "trap."

He was speaking before a meeting of leaders from his Fatah party in Ramallah in the West Bank.

George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy, held talks with both Palestinians and Israelis Friday in an effort to get the two sides back to the negotiating table. He is scheduled to stay in the region until Sunday.

Neither American nor Israeli officials would confirm whether a proposal for a Palestinian state with provisional borders had in fact been presented within the framework of ongoing talks to get negotiations started.

Palestinians have resisted American pressure to resume talks unless the Israeli government agrees to a complete halt of new settlement construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Abbas reiterated the point Saturday in his speech and noted that while there was no substitute for a two-state solution, an increasing number of Palestinians are becoming supportive of a one-state solution, in which Israelis and Palestinians would live under one government.

Meanwhile on Saturday, Israeli forces shot and wounded two Palestinians and a Maltese activist during a protest in Gaza, medical officials and activists said.

Demonstrators condemned Israel's establishment of a buffer zone between Israel and Gaza that they say amounts to a cessation of farming in that location. They also deplored Israeli policies and actions toward the Palestinian territory.

The incident took place east of Al-Maghazi refugee camp.

There has been no immediate reaction from the Israel Defense Forces.

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The International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group, said on its website that about 150 people attended the "peaceful" and "nonviolent" demonstration and that soldiers opened fire on the demonstrators from the border fence.

Nidal Al Naji, 18, was shot in the right thigh and Hind Al Akra, 22, was shot in the stomach. Bianca Zimmit, 28, of Malta was filming the demonstration when she was shot in the left thigh, the group said.

Israel Defense Forces said it fired warning shots at a group of Palestinians gathering "very close to the security fence" in central Gaza. In its initial probe of the incident, the IDF said its forces "identified hitting three of the Palestinians."

"The area adjacent to the security fence is a combat zone used by terrorist organizations to execute attacks against Israel. The IDF will not allow anyone to be present in it, since it is considered a threat to the residents of Israel and to Israeli security forces, " the IDF said.

CNN's Kareem Khadder contributed to this report.