In response to statements by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas that he would not demand the “right of return” for PA Arabs to the homes that their grandparents and great-grandparents abandoned in the State of Israel – statements Abbas later reneged on – Hamas has issued its own document on the matter. Even if the PA as a matter of policy were to agree not to demand that nearly all the Jews of Israel be thrown out of their homes to accommodate the descendants of “refugees,” Hamas said it wold never agree to such a plan – and any concessions Israel makes in return for the removal of the “right of return” from PA demands would be irrelevant, as far as the Gaza terror group was concerned.
In an interview with Channel Two, Abbas said last week that he was “a Palestinian refugee from Tzefat. I would like to visit there but I don't want to live there. All we want is to establish an independent Palestinian state in the areas Israel occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The statement raised a firestorm in Arab media for its implied concession on the “right of return,” the demand that PA Arabs be allowed to return to the homes and land their ancestors abandoned in 1948, when the State was established. Abbas later backtracked, saying that the statement was a “personal point of view,” but that he had never intended to give the impression that he was compromising on demands that the descendants of refugees have the right to evict Jews from their homes in Israel and take them over.
The Hamas statement said that “the territory of Palestine is 27,027 square kilometers,” an area that takes into account the entire Land of Israel, including the State within the 1948 armistice lines, and the lands Israel liberated in the 1967 Six Day War. “No one has a right to compromise on any part of Palestinian territory, which is part of the great Arab homeland, and whose liberation is an obligation of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and the forces of liberalism in the world.”
The statement adds that the descendants of Arabs who left the State in 1948 “have the right to return to their original homes in Palestine without any conditions, and they also have the right to compensation for their suffering and stolen property. No one has the right to surrender any of these rights, to compromise them, or to conduct negotiations on them.” In addition, the statement says that Jerusalem is wholly Muslim, and no compromise on the its status as a Muslim city is possible, either.
Finally, says the statement, “The Zionist enemy in Palestine is the only enemy of the Palestinian people, and struggling against it using any and every means is a national obligation, until the last inch of Palestine is freed.”