The Hamas terror group dismissed on Friday Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ UN speech, saying that it failed to address PA Arabs’ aspirations.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that by recognizing Israel and seeking UN membership for a Palestinian state on 22 percent of ‘historic Palestine,’ Abbas “decreased Palestinians’ rights.”
Barhoum called Abbas to “go back to comprehensive national dialogue [with Hamas, ed.] and to achieve reconciliation and unite the Palestinians.”
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, signed a reconciliation agreement with Abbas’ Fatah party, which rules in Judea and Samaria, in May. The agreement called for a formation of a unity government, but it has stalled over a leadership row.
Earlier on Friday, Hamas’ Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that the PA should not beg for a state, adding that “liberation of Palestinian land” should come first.
He said that “what is happening at the United Nations harms the dignity of our Palestinian people,” particularly when there is no guarantee of the ‘right of return’ (the Arabs’ wish to have millions of so-called ‘Palestinian refugees’ - the descendants of Arabs who fled Israel before the 1948 Arab-Israeli war – to return to Israeli cities).
In his speech before the UN General Assembly on Friday, Abbas said he holds the Israeli government responsible for the expansionist movement of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, saying that this will destroy chances of peace. He blamed Israel for shattering every peace initiative and claimed that Israel has been occupying ‘Palestinian’ territories for 63 years.
He confirmed that he is submitting an application for a sovereign and independent homeland, which he said contains a request for full member nation status in the UN based on the June 4, 1967 borders. His brandishing of the request was met with a standing ovation by the automatically pro-Arab General Assembly.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave his own speech in his response, in which he called on Abbas to drop unilateral moves and return to the negotiating table.
“President Abbas, why don’t you join me?” said Netanyahu. “We have to stop negotiating about the negotiations. Let’s just get on with it. Let’s negotiate peace! Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today, in the United Nations!”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)