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PFLP leader calls for dismantling PA

April 28, 2010 1:26 P.M. (Updated: April 29, 2010 1:10 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) politburo member Laila Khaled called Tuesday for dismantling the Palestinian Authority "if that body is the cause of Palestinian division."

In Damascus, Khaled said division among Palestinians "is threatening the Palestinian national project." She said Palestinians "have not struggled throughout their history for an Authority, but for a homeland for a displaced people and people under occupation."

Khaled spoke at an event held in solidarity with prisoners of Israel affiliated with the party. The event was held in the Jermana refugee camp, and attended by leaders of the PFLP and other Palestinian factions.

"In the light of the division, no one has the right to appoint himself as an authority of the homeland and the people," Khaled explained, saying "the Authority does not represent our people, because it is the product of the Oslo Accords, and anyone behind the division is behind the occupation, which only propagates our geographic separation.

"What is obstructing the restoration of unity is sitting in Ramallah and Gaza, and both are serving the occupation and its plans," she said.

Khaled called for Palestinians in refugee camps across the region to reject division and convey their displeasure to the Palestinian leadership. "If they remain committed to their current stance, then they are not our leaders and representatives."

She dismissed Israeli gestures toward a renewal of peace talks, saying the state's stance was "crystal clear," particularly around the refusal to stop settlement construction. "The occupation does not want to resolve the conflict," she said.

The PFLP leader came to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s for her role in hijacking a TWA flight and another failed attempt on El-Al, the Israeli national carrier. Khaled was released by British authorities in a prisoner exchange.

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