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PFLP icon praises resistance, criticizes UN bid

Dec. 5, 2012 12:40 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 12:46 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, telling a welcoming delegation that she was "proud" of the people of Gaza.

Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's leadership, told reporters in Rafah that Palestinians around the world were in solidarity with Gaza during Israel's assault.

"I am proud of you Gaza people. The Palestinians in the Diaspora heard the sound of the rockets, and we wished we could have been with you during the latest Israeli assault," she said.

Khaled voiced criticism of President Mahmoud Abbas' initiative to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN on Thursday, as it was based on the 1967 borders and recognized Israel.

"No one is allowed to bargain the right of return," she said of the bid.

The Popular Front supports a single, democratic state in historic Palestine and rejects agreements with Israel that would resolve the conflict with two states for Israelis and Palestinians.

Khaled called on the Palestinian leadership to lay out a national strategy for achieving unity.

In Gaza, Khaled was expected to take part in a survey of sites damaged during Israel's week-long assault on Gaza that ended late last month.

Khaled, born in Haifa but forced to flee to Lebanon in 1948, gained worldwide notoriety for her role in the PFLP's strategy of hijacking aircraft carriers in the late 1960's and 1970's.

She resides in Amman, Jordan.

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