Palestinians will not launch a new uprising against Israel despite their frustration at the deadlock in US-sponsored peace efforts, President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday.
Israel has rejected US calls to freeze settlements in the West Bank, and Abbas - eyeing the internal challenge from Hamas - has refused to yield on this core demand and revive negotiations.
But Abbas made clear that Palestinians do not want to see a repeat of their 2000-2005 intifada, which was spearheaded by gunmen and suicide bombers and met a crushing Israeli military response.
"God forbid that we should come to a new intifada. The Palestinian people are not thinking about launching a new intifada," he told reporters during a visit to Argentina.
"The Palestinian people are only thinking about the road toward peace and negotiations and no other path. We will not go back to an intifada because we have suffered too much."
Abbas' visit comes a week after President Shimon Peres met with President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Buenos Aires and asked her to mediate in the Middle East peace process.
Fernandez and Abbas criticized Israel's announcement last week of plans to build 900 new homes in the settlements. Argentina's president also asked the United States to step up its involvement in the peace process.
"To build peace, besides finding common ground and respect for international law, we need to have the will for peace," Fernandez said. "I think this is a key element and that the United States sincerely can do more than what it's doing now regarding this."
During a visit to Brazil last week, Abbas and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also condemned the Israeli settlements and demanded the creation of an independent Palestinian state.