Hamas leader differs with Iran’s leader on Palestinian bid for statehood

Richard Silverstein has a report which hasn’t appeared elsewhere in the English-language media. The article which originally appeared in Farsi on Iran’s Radio Farda says:

Khaled Meshal, head of the political office of Hamas in Syria said that the request of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, for recognition of an independent Palestinian state and full membership in the United Nations is a courageous act that must be appreciated and supported. Meshal, who was speaking in the 5th international conference in support of Palestinian Intifada in Tehran, said regarding Abbas’ request, “We cannot deny that this action has had symbolic and moral achievements.”

Meshal expressed his position while Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected, at the same conference, Abbas’ suggestion for an independent Palestine, which recognizes partitioning of the historical Palestine. Last week, Abbas asked the UN to recognize an independent Palestine based on the pre-1967 war borders that will consist of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. An independent Palestine within this area has been agreed on internationally, but so far Israel and Palestinians have not been able to reach any agreement in their peace negotiations. The main reason for the disagreement is Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the problem of Palestinian refugees.

Regarding Mahmoud Abbas’ action at the UN, Ayatollah Khamenei said in his speech at the conference, “Our aim is freedom for [all of] Palestine, not part of it. Any plan that aims to partition Palestine must be completely rejected. The idea of two states that has been covered up with membership of the Palestinian government in the UN is nothing but acceding to the Zionists demands, meaning accepting a Zionist government in the Palestinian land.”

But, describing Abbas’ action, Khaled Meshal said that it has “isolated the Zionist regime and the United States, there is a good international consensus that has revealed the [true] ugly face of the U.S.policy and Israel’s position.” At the same time, Meshal said that the action has its limitation and should not be considered as an end by itself. He demanded to “first liberate Palestinian lands and then ask the United Nations Security Coucil for UN membership.” He also warned against some of the consequences of Abbas’ action.

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