Advisor to Abbas says President did not Give Up Right of Return
RAMALLAH, November 3, 2012 (WAFA - Official PLO news agency) – Nimr Hammad,
political advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas, said the president did not say
in his interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television station that he gave up
the right of refugees to return to their homeland.
He told WAFA that the interview focused on several issues that had to do
with the Palestinian decision to seek United Nations recognition of
Palestine as a non-member state on the 1967 borders.
He said “when the president was asked about refugees and what was his view
on where Israel stand on this issue, Abbas said the Arab peace initiative,
UN resolutions, international initiatives and the decision of the
Palestinian National Council of 1988 talked about a Palestinian state with
East Jerusalem as its capital alongside Israel and about the issue of
refugees based on UN Resolution 194.”
Therefore, he added, Abbas said “I am from Safad and I lived there until I
was 13 years old and when the independent Palestinian state will be
established, Safad will be part of Israel.”
“What was said is what is going to happen when the state of Palestine is
established alongside Israel,” said Hammad, “and therefore the president
never mentioned the word giving up the right of return.”
Hammad said the issue of refugees will be discussed along with all final
status issues, including settlements, Jerusalem, borders, and water. He said
the main problem is in Israel which refuses to stop expanding and
discriminating because it considers the West Bank as Yehuda and Samari and
does not consider settling in the West Bank are settlements rather building
on the land of Israel.
Hammad criticized Hamas position on the interview, saying it has accepted
the two-state solution. He said Hamas’ claims that Abbas’ statements were
blow to reconciliation were feeble.
He described those who made such statements as “selling illusions to our
He urged “the reasonable and nationalist leaders in Hamas not to let the
illusion sellers play with the fate of our people because they are looking
for any excuse to maintain the division.”