The president's comments referred to the issue of borders, not the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homes, said an official. "Once we have the borders of our state, we will not seek to expand it. The right of return is a separate issue," he said.
However, the remarks may inflame the Palestinian public, which is already sceptical about the peace process and for whom the right of return is a visceral and deeply emotional issue. Israel insists it will never allow Palestinians to return en masse to their former homes.
Abbas caused uproar last year when he told an Israeli television interviewer that he should have the right to visit his birthplace of Safed, from which his family was forced to flee in 1948, but accepted that he would not return to live there. He later clarified that he was making a personal statement, not waiving the right of return for almost five million Palestinian refugees and their descendants."
[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]
|Mahmoud Abbas: 'People say that after signing a peace agreement we will still demand Haifa, Acre and Safed. That is not true.' Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA|
Peace with Israel would end Palestinian land claims, says Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian president makes apparent move to reassure Israelis after expressing frustration at talks' lack of progressIsrael in the event of a far-reaching peace deal, President Mahmoud Abbas has said in his first comments since negotiations began two weeks ago, stressing that a "just" agreement would mean "the end of the conflict".
He also indicated rising impatience at the glacial pace of negotiations, telling a group of leftwing Israeli parliamentarians that the Palestinians wanted to accelerate the talks. No progress had been made...READ MORE