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      Hamas Supports PA UN Statehood Bid?

      Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal told PA chairman Mahmud Abbas that his terror organization supports the PA’s bid for enhanced UN status.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 11/26/2012, 1:40 PM

      Hamas' leader in exile Meshaal
      Hamas' leader in exile Meshaal
      Reuters

      Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on Monday told Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmud Abbas that his internationally recognized terror organization supports the PA’s bid for enhanced United Nations status, a Hamas statement said.

      "Khaled Meshaal... held a telephone conversation with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in which he affirmed that Hamas welcomes the step of going to the United Nations for state observer status," the statement said.

      The statement, which comes just three days before Abbas is due to ask the UN General Assembly in New York to upgrade the status of the PA, came after Hamas members in Gaza last week denied offering the chairman their support.

      Both Meshaal and fellow political bureau member Izzat al-Rishq said Monday, however, that they supported the move, though they warned it should not "compromise" their "constants and rights."

      "This move must be in the context of a vision and national strategy to maintain the national constants and rights and based on elements of power in the hands of our Palestinian people, the first of which is the resistance," read Meshaal's statement.

      Rishq, too, said he "welcomed" the UN bid but warned it should not "sacrifice or compromise any inch of Palestinian land from the (Mediterranean) sea to the (Jordan) river."

      On Thursday, the movement in Gaza had denied reports that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh had offered his own backing for the UN bid in a telephone call with Abbas.

      "It is not true," Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said in a statement Thursday evening, adding "the media should be more careful.”

      Abbas, who is travelling to New York on Monday in perpetrating for the bid, is set to ask for state observer status this Thursday, a little over a year after a failed bid to secure full state membership.

      That request stalled in the Security Council, where is has been blocked by the United States, a permanent member and veto holder in the council.

      If it succeeds, the upgraded states would enable the PA to pursue “war crime” charges and other grievances against the State of Israel at the U.N.'s International Criminal Court.

      Whil Israel and Washington both oppose the new bid for enhanced UN states, it is expected to easily win the required majority in the General Assembly.

      On Sunday, Abbas said he was "fully confident" ahead of the new application.

      "We are going to the UN fully confident in our steps. We will have our rights because you are with us," he told a crowd supporting the bid.

      "We ask for a just peace, which is agreed on by the international community which will give us our state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Without that, there is no hope at all," he said. "We are on our way to the United Nations and there are a lot of states supporting us, who support peace and justice. All of the factions are with us in going to the United Nations."

      "Today, the UN. After that, reconciliation, and after that, our own state," he said.