PFLP, Hamas blast Abu Mazen’s return remarks

A Palestinian woman stands at the entrance to her house in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City on November 2, 2012. Israel prevents nearly 7 million Palestinians scattered around the world from returning to their homes in Palestine, many of whom live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.(Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joined Hamas Saturday in condemning in PA president Mahmoud Abbas’s ceding of his right of return on Israeli TV.

The leftist group said Abbas’ public surrendering of his claims to his childhood village of Safad contradicted PLO resolutions affirming the right of return to property Israelis dispossessed from Palestinians in 1948.

“Abbas with his remarks lives in a dreamland and tries to beg for the American and Israeli position to hope to gain something,” said PFLP leader Rabah Mhanna.

He called on the PLO executive committee and central council to rebuke the president.

“No Palestinian would accept ceding the right of our people to return to homes, villages and towns from which they were displaced,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

“If Abu Mazen does not want Safad, Safad would be honored not to host people like him.”

Hamas prime minister Imail Haniyeh said Abbas’ remarks were “extremely dangerous” and contradicted longtime Palestinian territorial demands.

Abbas’ comments came on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which made official British support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine.

Pressed by Israeli Channel 2 TV about whether the Palestinian Authority considered towns in the Galilee to be part of Palestine, Abbas struck a deeply personal note in the Authority’s latest efforts to placate Israeli concerns about Palestinian refugees.
“I want to see Safad. It’s my right to see it. But not to live there,” said an impassioned Abbas.

He was born and raised in the northern town of Safad in 1935, fleeing to Syria with his family during Israel’s violent campaign to dispossess and expel Palestinians in 1948.

The Palestinian Authority has for more than two decades pushed to strike a deal with Israel that would establish a Palestinian state on borders annexed by Israel after 1967, ceding its right to those taken in 1948. However, they have reassured skeptical Palestinians that such a deal, known as the two-state solution, would not contradict the right to return.

However, documents leaked to Al-Jazeera last year detailing 10 years of Israeli negotiations with the Palestinian Authority gave rise to fresh skepticism, with Israeli negotiators saying they would agree to a symbolic number of returnees–less than 10,000 of the 7 million currently scattered around the world and in refugee camps. Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat was found to have countered that offer with 150,000 refugees.

(Ma’an, Al-Akhbar)

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Still live in fairytaleland about Israel? Time to wake up: The Map of the “Greater Israel” even is hammered on the currency:

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Israel. Not looking for Peace. Nor Talks. But this…


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