Key faction says will boycott rare Palestinian parliament session

GAZA - A Palestinian Liberation Organisation faction said on Thursday it would not attend a meeting of the most important Palestinian political congress in years, because it wants more factions to be included.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said it will boycott the rare Palestinian National Council (PNC) session, after a delay to allow such factions as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to attend was not been granted, the group said in a statement issued in Cairo on Thursday.

The PFLP is the second-largest PLO faction after Fatah, the group headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the PLO. Its absence would be a blow to his efforts to win a broad consensus on resolutions.

"The PFLP's decision will lead to weakening the legitimacy of the PNC meeting and the legitimacy of decisions it may take," said Hani Habeeb, a Gaza political analyst.

The 700-member council session will convene in the West Bank town of Ramallah on April 30 to discuss US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a U.S. policy change that has outraged the Palestinians.

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