Palestinian leader: Peace better than settlements

Published November 10, 2010

| Associated Press

The Palestinian president says Israelis should choose peace over West Bank settlements.

Mahmoud Abbas spoke Thursday at a rally marking the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. Thousand attended, waving Palestinian flags.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have stalled over Israel's refusal to halt settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, war-won territories the Palestinians want for their state.

The Palestinians say they won't negotiate until all building stops. Israel says it can build until the sides reach a peace deal. The U.S. has failed to broker a compromise.

In his speech, Abbas said children on both sides should "taste coexistence ... before the opportunity is lost."

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian lawmaker says Hamas police have broken up a private screening of a film about Yasser Arafat on the sixth anniversary of the iconic leader's death.

Ashraf Jumma says police threatened to seize a screen and a VCR on Thursday and arrested some of the more than two dozen attendees. Police also detained journalists, watched footage from the event and made them promise not to air it.

Hamas officials could not be reached for comment.

Hamas has banned public commemoration of Arafat's death since it seized control of Gaza in 2007 from forces loyal to Arafat's successor, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

In the West Bank, Abbas addressed thousands of flag-waving supporters near Arafat's grave, calling for national unity.

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