Monday, September 15, 2008

Abu Marzouk: Abbas's position insinuates he relinquished RoR

"DAMASCUS, (PIC)-- Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy political bureau chairman of Hamas, has rejected PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's position regarding the Palestinian refugees' right of return.

He told the PIC that Hamas, Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people at large reject Abbas's stand in which he said that only an agreed upon number of refugees would be allowed back to their original hometowns while the rest would have to choose between returning to the "Palestinian state" or remaining in diaspora in return for compensation.

Abu Marzouk said that he did not know whether Abbas was speaking in the name of Fatah, PLO or his personal view. "The thing that we are sure of is that he is not speaking on behalf of the five million Palestinian refugees who insist on their right of return to their lands and property from which they were (forcibly) evacuated and not to the West Bank lands," the Hamas leader elaborated.

Abu Marzouk said that Abbas's statements to the Hebrew paper reflected his negotiating position, and with such a ceiling of demand he insinuates that the matter was settled in favor of the "Zionist vision".

He also said that Abbas was not only sidestepping Palestinian constants regarding the RoR but was also circumventing the constitution regarding the issue of presidential elections. He explained that statements were being circulated about delaying the presidential elections so as to coincide with the legislative elections in January 2010, which is a clear violation of the Palestinian basic law.

For its part, Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot reported on Sunday that Abbas would continue in his post even after expiration of his term in office by January 2009 even though Hamas announced that it would not recognize the extension of his tenure. It claimed that Abbas consulted a number of Arab rulers on this idea and won their backing.

Meanwhile, the Damascus-based group for Palestinian right of return said that it was following with concern Abbas's recent statement about the RoR. In a press release the group's secretary general Tarek Hamoud charged that Abbas was begging for any settlement with Israel before end of his presidential term at the expense of millions of Palestinian refugees."

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