RAMALLAH, Nov 4 (KUNA) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
defended himself after harsh criticism following an interview he gave Israeli
Channel 2 on Thursday, saying it was unfair to subject someone to such
criticism "based on fragmented statements" from said interview.
In an interview with an Egyptian channel Saturday, Abbas argued he had
never relinquished Palestinian refugees' "right to return" to their former
homes inside what is now known as Israel. "All the harsh censure and abuse
came before the full interview was even aired, and this is obvious bias. Some
factions and some media bodies are fishing in muddy water."
He further stressed, "I would give the same remarks in any interview,
regardless of who sits across from me, be it a Palestinian, an Israeli, an
American, or whatever."
Abbas referred to a resolution of the Palestinian National Council in 1988
on recognition of United Nations resolutions 242 and 338, until the Arab Peace
Initiative was introduced. "All Palestinian parties are agreed upon a
two-state solution and the borders of 1967, and this includes Hamas and
The president further recalled that upon the last Palestinian
reconciliation agreement in Cairo, the parties agreed on the borders of 1967,
peaceful public resistance, and holding of elections, and the agreement was
announced to the public.
As to his remark regarding his hometown of Safed, he said he was talking
from a personal perspective and the remark does not in any way express an
official stance in relation to Right of Return. "No one has the authority to
relinquish this right. All international, Arab, and Islamic resolutions state
a just and collectively agreed upon solution for the issue of the refugees,
with reference to resolution 194. The expression 'collectively agreed upon"
includes an agreement with Israel."
Asked for comment regarding the third Intifada, Abbas told the Egyptian
channel that the choice of armed resistance in the second Intifada was "a
"When I ran in the elections, I told my people I was opposed to armed
resistance and called for peaceful resistance and negotiations."
The interview Abbas gave the Israeli channel brought on great controversy
mostly focused on a statement by the PA president that he no longer has the
right to return to his hometown, though he wished he could visit. The remark
was taken by many as relinquishing Palestinian refugees' Right of Return,
especially by Hamas.(end)
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