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Several Palestinian factions criticize Obama speech

DAMASCUS, June 4 (KUNA) -- Several Palestinian factions criticized on Thursday the speech by U.S. President Barack Obama at the University of Cairo, saying that it does not have anything new to add or help the Palestinian issue.
The talk about a Palestinian state is "only an illusion in light of Israeli on going building of settlements," the factions said adding that "Obama not calling for the removal of settlements does not possess any fundamental change in U.S. policy, particularly with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue," the factions said in a press release issued here.
The factions also stressed importance of their refusal to discuss any conditions or obligations before an end to the Israeli occupation of all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.
The statement noted that if there was a real and sincere intention to end the conflict in the Middle East, mechanisms have to be set up to end the occupation, dismantling of settlements, and withdraw from all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories including Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and southern Lebanon.
The factions also called on the Arab and Islamic worlds to emphasize the need to transform words into action when it comes to reconciliation with the west.
The statement also said ignoring the right of Palestinians to return demonstrates the lack of credibility by the United States to find a solution which is based on United Nations resolutions and the international community.
The call by the U.S. President to end what he described as "violence" against Israel is like calling for an end to Palestinian resistance which contradicts principles of international law, which gives any sovereign country the right to defend its land in light of occupation, the statement added. (end) am.mb KUNA 042208 Jun 09NNNN