Thursday, November 1, 2012

Abbas ‘concession’angers Hamas

Gulf Times  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a rare if symbolic concession to Israel yesterday, saying he had no permanent claim on the town from which he was driven as a child during the 1948 war of the Jewish state’s founding. Among several disputes deadlocking Middle East peace talks has been the Palestinians’ demand that as many as 5mn of their compatriots be granted the right to return to lands in Israel that they or their kin lost. Israel rules this out, fearing an influx of Arabs that would eliminate its Jewish majority, and argues the refugees should resettle in a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories it occupied in the 1967 war. Hamas denounced Abbas, saying he spoke only for himself. The Islamist movement does not recognise Israel and has regularly exchanged fire with it.