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Hamas to Abbas: Don't beg for a state

Sept. 23, 2011 4:58 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 24, 2011 12:29 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Friday urged President Mahmoud Abbas not to "beg" for a Palestinian state at the United Nations.

Speaking to reporters after morning prayers in Gaza City, Haniyeh said Abbas' bid for full membership of the United Nations "harms the dignity of the Palestinian people.

"We want a state but it should have full sovereignty and not at the expense of Palestinian rights."

He added: "We support the principle of statehood but liberation comes first, we do not want to beg for a state."

Abbas says he will submit an application for full UN membership to the Security Council after addressing the General Assembly on Friday. Washington has vowed to veto the bid.

If the resolution fails, Palestinians should focus on implementing national unity and using the "Arab spring" to benefit the Palestinian cause, Haniyeh said.

"We have reservations about going to the UN because we believe it's under American control and the political orientation for the UN is useless," he added.

"We tell the president that you should come back to the Palestinian people in order to launch strategic and national dialogue and not to run behind the mirage."

"The Palestinian people have been fighting and resisting and struggling for more than 60 years, offering up thousands of martyrs, thousands of prisoners ... for the sake of liberating the land," he added.

"The state will not come about through this bargaining and this political blackmail," he said.

Abbas says he is turning to the United Nations for statehood recognition because almost two decades of on-off peace talks with Israel have failed to produce a lasting treaty.
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