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Hamas divided on UN bid for recognition

Aug. 17, 2011 1:54 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2011 4:01 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Hamas leader Ismail Radwan sees the Palestinian Authority's decision to go to the UN in September to seek recognition of statehood as just the latest in a series of unilateral decisions.

Radwan told Ma’an that there should be consensus on a Palestinian national strategy, including how to implement the reconciliation deal signed in May, before embarking on bigger goals.

Izzat Resheq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, meanwhile, saw the move as aimed to mobilize support and international recognition of the Palestinians' rights to freedom and statehood.

Resheq told Hamas-affiliated media that his movement supported any political or diplomatic effort aimed at rallying international support for the recognition of Palestinian rights.

He stressed, however, that such moves should be part of an agreed upon national strategy that guarantees Palestinian rights, according to a report by the Palestinian Information Center.

Resheq pointed out that Hamas supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, in harmony with all Palestinian factions, that is coupled with the return of refugees and dismantling of settlements without recognizing Israel, the news site said.

Hamas believes that resistance and steadfastness are the means toward restoring rights, liberating occupied land, and establishing the Palestinian state, but Hamas does not depend on the UN or the Security Council to attain rights, he reportedly added.

Both officials' remarks came as President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Beirut Tuesday to seek support for the bid for UN membership in September, which will come as Lebanon serves as head of the Security Council.

Following the collapse of peace talks in September last year, the PLO adopted a diplomatic strategy aimed at securing UN recognition for a state within the frontiers that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War.

They now plan to present their bid for UN membership on September 20, despite Israeli opposition.
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