GAZA, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Palestinians want to make peace with Israel but reserve the right to resist the occupation, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday at the Fatah movement's first congress in 20 years.
"Although peace remains our choice, we reserve the right to resistance, legitimate from the point of view of international law," the Palestinian leader said, adding that Palestinians' "legitimate struggle" should not be called terrorism.
According to him, Palestinians should seek peace with Israel by dialogue "while the smallest sparkle of hope lingers."
Abbas was addressing thousands of Fatah delegates in Bethlehem at a congress that has been billed as a chance to restore Palestinian unity.
The peace process with Israel has been hampered by deep divisions in Palestinian society due to the bitter split between the president's Fatah party and the radical Islamist Hamas group, which has held power in the Gaza Strip since the internationally recognized Palestinian government was ousted from the enclave in fierce street fighting in June 2007.