DFLP head Hawatmeh seeks to return to West Bank

PA seeks permission to allow Nayef Hawatmeh to move to West Bank from Jordan, despite movements commitment to armed struggle.

Members of DFLP 370  (photo credit: GM1E5351LZM01 Photographer: 	 REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu)
Members of DFLP 370
(photo credit: GM1E5351LZM01 Photographer: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu)
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 Bank.
“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.