Fatah leader in Gaza Yahya Rabah said Saturday that the UN bid for non-member status does not affect the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Rabah told Ma’an that the Palestinian Authority is seeking recognition as a state under occupation, pointing out that the right of return is enshrined under article 11 of UN resolution 194.
The resolution states that Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return to their homes and compensation must be paid to those that choose not to, Rabah said.
“Israel and the US are trying to thwart the Palestinian UN request and to spoil voting on the issue,” he added.
Deputy PFLP secretary-general Abdul-Rahim Mallouh told Ma’an on Saturday that no individual is allowed to waive the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Mallouh said that Abbas is fully responsible for his recent remarks on Israeli TV about the right of return and violated several resolutions of the PLO’s executive committee.
The right of return has not been discussed by factions at any stage because it is an inalienable right, he added.
Abbas was asked by Israel’s Channel 2 TV whether he wanted to live in Safed, his boyhood town in the Galilee region of what had been British-ruled Palestine and is now northern Israel.
“I visited Safed before once. But I want to see Safed. It’s my right to see it, but not to live there,” Abbas answered, speaking in English from the West Bank city of Ramallah.
“Palestine now for me is ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am (a) refugee, but I am living in Ramallah. I believe that (the) West Bank and Gaza is Palestine and the other parts (are) Israel.”
The UN vote is set to be called on Nov. 15 or 29. Palestinian sources said the first date was more likely because it was closer to US presidential elections on Nov. 6, giving Washington less time to organize a lobbying campaign.
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