The head of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Israel has called on Palestinians of all factions in the Occupied Territories and in the Diaspora to protest en masse against Mahmoud Abbas's apparent renunciation of the refugees' right of return. Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka said that the PA President's comments show a lack of commitment to national principles which form the basis of the Palestinian cause.
Abbas told an Israeli TV channel that he is a refugee and has no right to live in the village of his birth which is now in Israel. Zahalka called on Fatah to hold Abbas to account for his statements, pointing out that the right to return is an individual right enshrined in UN resolutions. "Mahmoud Abbas's comments on Israeli television do not conform to the Palestinian national programme," he insisted.
The Arab MK added that Palestinians in Israel reject Abbas' remarks and regard them as an attempt to "beg Israel" for a state.