The Palestinian Authority has sought Israel’s permission to allow Nayef
Hawatmeh, head of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, to move
to the West Bank, Palestinian sources said on Saturday.
The sources told
the London- based Al-Quds al-Arabi daily that the PA had been in contact with
Israel over this issue.
Israel was using “false excuses” to hinder
Hawatmeh’s move to the West Bank, the sources claimed.
Qais Abdel Karim,
a senior DFLP official in Ramallah, dismissed reports that Israel had demanded
that Hawatmeh renounce armed struggle as a condition for entering the West
“There is no room for talking about the DFLP’s position toward the
armed struggle as a pre-condition,” Abdel Karim said.
He said that
Hawatmeh had obtained a “national identity number” some 15 years go, enabling
him to move to the Palestinian territories.
However, Israel then denied
Hawatmeh permission to move, he claimed.
Abdel Karim said that the PA
leadership was talking to Israel bout lifting the ban on Hawatmeh. “Until now,
there has been no clear response from the Israelis,” he said. “But efforts are
continuing to secure his return.”
Abdel Karim said that Israel was
refusing to allow the DFLP leader to move to the West Bank for “political
reasons.” Israel, he said, “does not want more struggling leaders who endorse
the positions of Hawatmeh.”
Hawatmeh, 74, is a Jordanian Christian who
has headed the Marxist DFLP since 1969. The DFLP is a breakaway group from the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Both the DFLP and the PFLP
oppose the Oslo Accords.
Until a few years ago, Hawatmeh was based in
Syria. Recently, he has been living in Jordan.