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Experts says Abbas expelled Bishop Hanna from PNC to pass ‘deal of the century’

Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem (C), Atalla Hanna [Muhesen Amren/Apaimages]

Lebanese political analyst, Nidal al-Sabea has said that that Mahmoud Abbas expelled the Atallah Hanna from the Palestinian National Council because he fears obstruction to the Trump-backed negotiations with Israel.

According to al-Sabea, Abbas – the Palestinian Authority President – is afraid that Hanna, who is the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Sebastia, is likely to be elected as President of the council and use this position to disrupt the the so called ‘deal of the century’.

Speaking to Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Sunday, Sabea said “Archbishop Atallah Hanna would never accept the deal of the century, giving up on Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees issue … Abbas’ insistence on convening the Palestinian National Council in Ramallah is a blow to Palestinian unity and a prelude to legitimizing the deal of the century.”

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He added that the absence of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the boycotts by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine independent members of the meeting indicate that the council lack national consensus.

Al- Sabea has criticized the Palestinian Authority’s monopoly of decision making, including appointing members to the national council without establishing specific criteria,  is a flagrant violation of the democratic process.

Al- Sabea pointed out that the Arab League could intervene and stop the crisis and called on Palestinian factions and independent national figures to organize a conference in Egypt, which would results in a new Palestinian vision that brings the Palestinian cause back to its rightful place and put an end to the Palestinian series of concessions.

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