Hamas' prime minister criticized the Palestinian president for comments given to the Israeli media, alleging that they contradict longtime Palestinian territorial demands.
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Hamas PM said that while he would like to see his birthplace – Safed, a city in northern Israel – he does not want to live there.
The fate of refugees who fled, or were forced to flee their homes in the wake of Israel's creation in 1948, is on one of the most emotional issues at the heart of Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Haniyeh was not the only one to criticize Abbas. According to The Guardian, Palestinian activists from across the Palestinian political spectrum also denounced their president for saying he would ensure there was "never" be a third intifada.
They also railed against what they perceived as him "giving up his right of return" to his Israeli birthplace.
Hamas politburo member Izzat Rishek told the British paper that Abbas' statement "Does not express the opinion of the Palestinian people… the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their cities, villages and homes from where they were forcibly expelled is holy. It is not a bargaining chip."
The Palestinian people, he stressed "Will never drop even one particle of the soil of Palestine… Mr. Abbas' statement doesn’t shock only Palestinians but all Arab people."
AP contributed to this report
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