On Tuesday, Hamas joined several Palestinian groups that have rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s statehood bid at the UN Security Council.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the draft resolution presented to the Security Council last week, which calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, does not represent the Palestinians. “This resolution has does not have any national cover,” Abu Zuhri said, noting that many Palestinian groups have rejected it. Abu Zuhri called on Abbas to withdraw the draft resolution from the Security Council.
Abbas critics argue that the draft resolution, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, does not meet the political aspirations of the Palestinians.
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti took issue with the text and called on the PA leadership to conduct an immediate comprehensive revision of its wording. Barghouti, in a statement from his prison cell, accused the PA leadership of making unjustified concessions on Palestinian rights in the draft resolution. He criticized the PA’s readiness to conduct land swaps with Israel, saying this would undermine the Palestinian right to self-determination and to a sovereign state. Israel would exploit the concept of land swaps to legalize settlements, he warned.
Barghouti voiced opposition to the document’s wording on Jerusalem, which says that the city should be the capital of two states. He stressed that any resolution should emphasize that east Jerusalem is the capital of a Palestinian state.
He criticized the absence of any reference to the issues of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip. “We must stop negotiating with ourselves without any results,” Barghouti said. “The Palestinian leadership should not allow any attempt to harm these terms of reference, which ensure the rights of our people to freedom, independence and the right of return for refugees.”
Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and a leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also criticized the draft resolution and called on the PA leadership to withdraw it from the Security Council. The proposal does not represent the position endorsed by the PLO Executive Committee over the past few weeks, Khaled said. “The draft resolution was not discussed by any PLO body and as such it does not have a political and national cover,” he said. It does not meet the aspirations of the Palestinians, especially with regards to the issues of Jerusalem, borders, settlements, land swaps and refugees, Khaled claimed.
The Palestinian National Initiative, an independent political movement led by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, said the draft resolution includes “dangerous lapses” that compromise Palestinian demands. The movement claimed that the PA leadership presented the draft resolution so as to have an excuse to avoid joining the International Criminal Court. The movement criticized the resolution for “equating between Palestinians and Israel, ignoring the fact that one part has been occupying and repressing the other for the past 66 years.”
It also rejected the reference to Jerusalem as the capital of two states. This would pave the way for Israel to take most parts of the city and turn the Palestinian presence into a symbolic one, the movement said.
The Palestinian National Initiative criticized the draft resolution for including terms such as “violence, incitement, and terrorism.” It said that there should have been reference to the Palestinian “legitimate struggle for liberation.”
PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki announced that “basic and significant amendments” have been introduced to the draft resolution.
Bassam Salhi, head of the Palestinian People’s Party, formerly the Communist Party, also voiced reservations about the text, particularly with regards to Jerusalem and settlements. He said the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, another PLO group, has also come out against the wording of the resolution. He said that the amendments include clarifications regarding the status of east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state and the need for a complete cessation of settlement construction. (JPost.com)