In an interview with the London-based al-Hayat newspaper, al-Hakim said that Jibril told him of his intensions to return to Gaza when they met in Cairo last March as part of talks between the various factions to formulate a cease-fire with Israel.
Jibril said his return depends on “the absence of Zionist presence under any form in the area (Gaza), be it roadblocks or crossings.” Asked if Jirbril is planning to make Gaza his permanent home, al-Hakim replied that he is not that familiar with what’s going on in Jibril’s head.
“I believe that Jibril’s attachment to the Palestinian problem, to Palestine, to its land and people, will propel him to change his opinion and remain in the Strip, even if he has not considered this yet,” al-Hakim said.
“Jibril will see the sufferings and sacrifices of the Palestinians, which will induce him to stay or at least to commute between Gaza and abroad in a sign of connection to both the Palestinian and refugee problems,” the PFLP member said.
Al-Hakim also revealed that a number of senior PFLP members will arrive in Gaza as soon as the Rafah crossing is under Palestinian-Egyptian control to discuss the situation with members of the faction in Gaza and prepare Jibril’s return as well as that of other exiles.
Al-Hakim said that Jibril will head a delegation of senior members of the faction’s Central Committee which will include, Talal Naji, Jibril’s deputy and Fadel Srouro, the chairman of the faction’s political wing.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had raised the issue of Jibril’s return to the territories during his meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on July 21, al-Hakim said. “Jibril can return and that’s his right. He will receive a Palestinian Identification number and he will have the right to leave Gaza or remain in it,” Abbas answered an alleged question by the prime minister about Jibril plans following Israel’s pullout, so claimed al-Hakim.
The issue was also directly raised by the PFLP with Abbas during his visit to Damascus, where the group is based, in August.
Asked why Jibril refused to return to the territories with other faction leaders following the Oslo Agreement, al-Hakim replied that “Jibril refused to return with leaders associated with the occupation.” “We fought for a long time, and we lost 3,000 shahids (martyrs), we freed prisoners according to our own terms and therefore we will not return thanks to a Zionist permission.”
“We rule out this scenario completely,” said al-Hakim who in fact retuned to the territories following the Oslo Agreement.
The PFLP-Central Committee’s political wing believes that Jibril’s return will strengthen support for their faction in the territories especially in Gaza. Al-Hakim said that the PFLP has managed to sort out its difference with Fatah and this has facilitated talks about the possibility of Jibril’s return.