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      Hamas Legislator Attacks 'Coward' Abbas Over Framework Deal

      Hamas officials claim PA's role in negotiations infringes on 'fundamental Palestinian principles,' including so-called Right of Return.
      By Dalit Halevy, Tova Dvorin
      First Publish: 2/21/2014, 2:21 PM

      Kerry and Abbas meet in Paris
      Kerry and Abbas meet in Paris
      Reuters

      Salah Bardawil, a member of Hamas's "parliament" in Gaza, attacked Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Friday, calling him a "coward" for considering accepting the US framework agreement. 

      "If the US framework agreement is accepted, the Palestinian problem will lose all meaning," Bardawil fired. "The situation is very dangerous because of the denial of the right of return to their homes of six million Palestinian refugees." 

      "[The process] gives Palestine to the Occupation," he added. 

      'The resistance will not allow our fundamental principles to be harmed," the Hamas official continued. "Everyone knows that infringement on the right of return is a crime punishable by the most severe means in accordance with the [Hamas] Parliament." 

      The Fatah party, headed by Abbas, has repeatedly stressed that the PA will never give up on the so-called “right of return”.

      Abbas had previously made statements indicating that in a peace agreement with Israel he would be willing to give up on this demand, but was quick to cave in to public pressure and retract these claims.

      The remarks are the latest in a string of attacks against Abbas by Hamas, who called the US framework a "conspiracy against the Palestinian people' on Thursday.

      Earlier in the process, Hamas also slammed Abbas personally for his involvement in talks, calling the PA Chairman "illegitimate" and claiming that he does not truly represent the Palestinian Arab people. 

      Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza, setting up a government that is independent of Abbas’s Ramallah-based government and cracking down on Fatah officials residing in Gaza.

      Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo in 2011, pledging to set up an interim consensus government of independents that would pave the way for legislative and presidential elections within 12 months. That deal has yet to be implemented.