Abbas: Right to return, visit

2012-11-04 17:20
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. (Abbas Momani, AFP)

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. (Abbas Momani, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Ramallah - Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas has denied giving up on the refugees' right of return, saying remarks about not returning to his home town, which is now in Israel, was a "personal position."

"I have never and will never give up the right of return," he told Egypt's Al-Hayatt Egyptian satellite channel late on Saturday, according to a transcript released on Sunday.

In the interview, Abbas sought to explain remarks he had made in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 television on Friday in which he appeared to renege on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes they either fled from or were forced out of during the 1948 war which attended Israel's creation.

"I want to see Safed," he told Channel 2, referring to the town where he grew up which is now in northern Israel. "It's my right to see it but not to live there."

His remarks were hailed as "courageous" by Israeli President Shimon Peres but sparked fury in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip where thousands poured onto the streets in protest.

"Talking about Safed is a personal position and does not mean giving up the right of return," he told Al-Hayatt.

"No-one can give up the right of return as all international texts and Arab and Islamic decisions refer to a just and agreed solution to the refugee issue, according to UN Resolution 194, with the term 'agreed on' meaning agreed with the Israeli side," he said.

"I do not change my position - what I say to the Palestinians is no different from what I say to the Israelis or the Americans or anyone."

The issue of the refugees would only be resolved in final status negotiations with Israel, he insisted.

Six issues

"The six main issues, including that of the refugees, will be put on the table for discussion in the final phase," he clarified.

"The refugee issue, based on UN Resolution 194, will be subjected to a popular referendum and people will either accept it or reject it."

Commenting on the Friday night interview, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that the Palestinian leader had quickly gone back on his comments, and said Abbas's real stance on the refugees would only become clear in direct peace talks.

"I watched the interview with President Abbas at the weekend. I heard that since then, he has gone back on his words," he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in remarks relayed by his office.

"Only through direct negotiations can we clarify what the real positions are. If Abu Mazen [Abbas] is really serious about advancing peace, then from my perspective we can sit down together immediately," he said.

There are more than four million Palestinian refugees scattered across the region - those who fled or were expelled when Israel was created in 1948, and their descendants.

The Palestinians have always demanded that the Jewish state recognise their right of return to homes in modern-day Israel in keeping with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

Israel rejects the right of return, which would end its Jewish majority. It is, however, prepared for those refugees to live in the promised Palestinian state.

- SAPA
Read more on:    mahmud abbas  |  shimon peres  |  israel  |  palestine  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

3 must-do trail runs

If you love trail running, you have to put these on your bucket list.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route
Watch: Insane road bike skills!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

One day only! – 40% off Appliances!

Get 40% off 100’s of appliances at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be self sufficient, right and in control today. There is a tendency to hold on too tightly to your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.