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Hamas: We do not support Abbas's statehood bid
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
11/22/2012
Denial comes shortly after Abbas's office says Haniyeh expressed support for effort to upgrade to non-member state.
 
Hamas denied on Thursday that its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, had expressed support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s effort to upgrade the UN status of a Palestinian state to non-member.

Supporting Abbas’s statehood bid would mean that Hamas is willing to accept a Palestinian state “only” within the pre-1967 lines.

The denial came shortly after Abbas’s office announced that he had received a phone call from Haniyeh and top Hamas official Ahmed Bahr, who expressed their support for the statehood bid. Abbas’s office said that Islamic Jihad leader Mohamed Hindi also phoned the PA president to voice his backing for the statehood bid.

On Wednesday, Abbas rejected US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s request that he refrain from the unilateral move at the UN.

Clinton warned Abbas during a meeting in Ramallah that his intention to go to the UN on November 29 would be “politically damaging,” a senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post. Abbas responded that he had already made a decision and would not backtrack despite American pressure, the official said.

Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, denied that Haniyeh had expressed support for the statehood bid.

He said that the claim that Hamas supported the statehood bid was “untrue.”

An Islamic Jihad official in the Gaza Strip also denied that his group backed Abbas’s statehood bid.

Abbas, meanwhile, stated on Thursday that his statehood bid was aimed at “saving the two-state solution.”

Abbas told Venezuela’s envoy to Ramallah that he decided to go to the UN “because of Israel’s refusal to comply with UN resolutions.”

In an interview with CNN aired on Wednesday, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said he accepted a Palestinian state “according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right of return [for Palestinian refugees].”

Mashaal said that “Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, it is my land. And the land of my fathers and grandfathers, inhabited by the Palestinian people for a long time ago. This is my land, my right.”

But, he added, “because of the circumstances of the region, because of the keenness to stop the bloodshed, the Palestinians today, and in the past, and Hamas, have agreed about a program that accepts the 1967 borders. But the Israelis don’t accept.”
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