Osama Hamdan, head of Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas’ international relations department, stressed the Movement’s rejection of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s UN statehood bid, because it falls in the context of the so-called peace process, away from the Palestinian points of reference, and ignores Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their homes and homeland.
Hamdan regarded the UN bid as merely a political manoeuvre that can be made at any time, refusing to call it ‘September Entitlement’. He said they called it ‘Entitlement’ because it is linked to the peace process where the Zionist enemy imposes its demands, while the Palestinian negotiator is totally helpless. “Thus it was exaggerated and called ‘Entitlement’ in the hope that it would take the negotiator out of a tight corner.”
“Hamas has no problem with using diplomatic means to defend Palestinian rights and principles, and believes that the fight for the liberation of Palestine should lead to an independent homeland for the Palestinian people, who must regain their land and establish their fully sovereign state on their liberated land; but the Movement’s rejection is based on several reasons,” he added.
“This bid falls in the context of the peace process, not confronting the occupation, as best confirmed by the words of Abu Mazen: ‘We will head to the United Nations, then go back to the negotiating table’. He hopes the move would achieve a shift in the negotiation process, to aid his negotiating position. This is evident because, after the speeches given by Obama and Sarkozy, Nabil Shaath said: ‘We are willing to allow time for international communications’. So, the issue is not about ‘the state’ but about pushing the negotiation process forward. And that has proved futile over the past twenty years or so,” he explained.
The second reason for the rejection, Hamdan added, was that: “the move was alien to the context of Palestinian points of reference, those agreed upon in Cairo after the signing of a reconciliation agreement, as well as before that. Abu Mazen did not consult the Central Council nor the PLO regarding his move. Instead, he decided to do it, and then just summoned the Central Council to rubber-stamp his bid”.
Hamdan went on to explain: “In a more general outlook, this step opens the door to a number of problems and questions about constants and principles such as the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their lands and homes, from which they were expelled. It is obvious that the negotiating team never considered these issues, or perhaps did – then decided to ignore them. For example, when the leader of this team was asked regarding the future of the Palestine Liberation Organization, his answer was that it could be transformed into something like the Jewish Agency, which is known for its social intercourse, while political power is the domain of the government, in the Zionist entity”.
He stressed that the Movement did not reject ‘the state’ per se, but only Abu Mazen’s bid, “because the state can only be established after liberation. The state is not just vain talk. Indeed, a state was announced back in 1988, but its political value was nil. We oppose the forging of fantasies and illusions, because it drains the Palestinian people, morally and materially. It exhausts the people morally by accumulating frustration onto them. And it exhausts them materially because each step in the negotiation process so far has been accompanied by the relinquishing of rights or lands at the national level”.
Hamdan concluded by emphasizing that “nothing will change after September: there is an occupying force on the ground, which can only be removed by force. The U.S. mood was evident in Obama's speech, and betting on the international community is not feasible without strong performance on the ground to convince the enemy and its supporters that the survival of the occupation is not possible and will not happen”.