President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority urged the European Union to assume a more active role in the Middle East by becoming involved in maintaining peace between Israel and Palesinians. “I would like to stress again our request for the sending of international forces in order to protect our people.” There is hesitancy among European Union members to send their military into the Middle East in order to keep Israeli and Palestinians from fighting one another. Abbas recognized that Israel is only one part of complex issues facing his administration which must also deal with the rebellious Hamas faction. His dilemma is that while Hamas shares his desire for a united Palestine, it refuses to recognize the existence of Israel as an independent nation.
Abbas understands there is need for a government of national consensus, but also one which is committed to the peace process. The president admitted while he wants peace with Israel he is also upset at crimes committed by Israel forces in Gaza. However, in his even handed manner, Abbas also admitted that Hamas had committed crimes by getting civilians involved in the fighting.