Palestinian relatives of Arafat Jaradat mourn during his funeral in the West Bank village of Saair, on February 25, 2013
Palestinian relatives of Arafat Jaradat -- who died in an Israeli prison -- hold his picture as they mourn during his funeral in the West Bank village of Saair, on February 25, 2013. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has said Israel is deliberately seeking to create unrest in the occupied West Bank but that Palestinians would not be provoked. © Marco Longari - AFP
Palestinian relatives of Arafat Jaradat mourn during his funeral in the West Bank village of Saair, on February 25, 2013
AFP
Last updated: February 25, 2013

Israel seeks "chaos" in Palestinian territories, says Abbas

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Monday that Israel was deliberately seeking to stoke unrest in the occupied West Bank but that Palestinians would not be provoked.

"The Israelis want chaos and we know it but we won't let them," Abbas said in comments at his West Bank headquarters, seemingly in response to an Israeli demand on Sunday that he calm a wave of protest in the territory.

"We want peace and freedom for our prisoners and no matter how hard they try to drag us into their schemes, we will not be dragged," he said.

Protests in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons have been building and gained new momentum with the sudden death in his cell on Saturday of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat, a former militant of Abbas's Fatah movement.

Palestinian officials accuse Israel of torturing him to death.

"We lost Arafat Jaradat who was arrested and came back in a coffin and this cannot pass lightly," Abbas said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Sunday that "Israel passed an unequivocal demand to the Palestinian Authority to calm down the (West Bank) territory."

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