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Jailed PFLP leader Saadat backs UN bid

Dec. 5, 2012 8:02 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 8:10 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The jailed leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Ahmad Saadat on Wednesday praised Palestine's admission as a non-member state of the UN.

Speaking from Hadarim prison through his lawyer, Saadat said Palestine's new UN status was a step in the right direction, and must be followed by efforts to pressure the UN to make Israel comply with international law and previous UN resolutions.

Saadat offered a more positive assessment than PFLP resistance icon Leila Khaled, who criticized President Mahmoud Abbas' initiative as it was based on 1967 borders and recognized Israel.

"No one is allowed to bargain the right of return," she said Tuesday in Gaza.

Saadat, who is serving a 30-year sentence, called on Hamas and Fatah to finalize their reconciliation and said national unity was the main track to rebuild a Palestinian national program focused on resistance and not "pointless illusionary negotiations."

National institutions must be rebuilt in a democratic way, starting with the PLO to foster its role as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people of all political affiliations, he added.

Saadat said prison conditions had not improved since a mass hunger strike ended in May.

Israel has not followed through on its pledges to end solitary confinement and curtail administrative detention, which were part of a deal to end the prisoners' strike, Saadat noted.

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