Bardawil: UN bid puts right of return at risk

[ 15/09/2011 – 10:04 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil has warned of the risks involved in a step by the Palestinian Authority to apply for recognition for a state on 1967 borders, describing the step as a “leap in the air” with “undesirable consequences”.

He said the step could “paralyze resistance” and relinquish “Jerusalem and the right to return”, in statements he made with Quds Press.

Bardawil asserted that the step had not been studied sufficiently, but only came as a response to what he described as “Zionist arrogance”, apparently referring to Israel’s unreasonable approach in negotiations. Moreover, he criticized the move for having no political or legal origin and because the Palestinians were not consulted over it.

He also noted that there is still dissent among the Palestinians as to whether the PLO, which signed the Oslo Accords with Israel in 1993, maintains the authority to carry out such moves on behalf of the Palestinians.

In terms of what risks the move has on Palestinian issues, Bardawil said it puts the Palestinians’ right of return in jeopardy, because recognizing a state on 1967 borders practically places the refugees outside of those limits, and they would not be able to return as the land would be deemed the right of Israel. He also said that recognizing Israel as an entity would practically crush the resistance movement, adding that Jerusalem would too be at risk, as the western part of it would become the Israeli capital, while the east would be under international jurisdiction.

“We should achieve a state on the ground and then discuss whether or not to join the United Nations,” he said.

Hamas cannot align with any step that recognizes the Israeli occupier, Bardawil went on to say adding that Hamas’ position regarding the UN statehood bid is governed by “purely national considerations”.

Senior member of Hamas’s political bureau Salih al-Arouri too downplayed the PA’s UN statehood bid, calling it an “attempt to correct the years-long mistake of frivolous negotiations with” Israel.

“Negotiations have reached a dead end,” Arouri said in a statement to the Palestinian Information Center.

Discussing the changes expected to occur from the move, Arouri said that “whether or not the United Nations accepts the Palestinians’ request, we know that there will not be changes in situation of the Zionist occupation,” noting that Israel has had a long track record of disregard for resolutions made at the UN.

Pro-Palestinian organizations from the UK and Lebanon recently held a workshop in the Lebanese capital to discuss the UN move with Arab and Western figures and experts.

Among the organizations involved in the workshop were the Palestinian Return Centre in the UK, Wajib Organization for Right of Return in Syria, and Thabit association for right of return in Lebanon. It was held in three sessions, the first discussing the legal position, the second covering the political position and the third was for open discussion with regard to the move.

The organizations agreed that the move was a mistake and that it risked wasting achievements by the PLO with European nations and the Arab League. They also said that the PA did not meet the conditions to establish a state.


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