- Middle East/North Africa
Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Monday that his movement backs a bid for enhanced United Nations status for the Palestinians, a Hamas statement said.
“Khaled Meshaal ... held a telephone conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in which he affirmed that Hamas welcomes the step of going to the United Nations for state observer status,” the statement said.
The statement, which comes just three days before Abbas is due to ask the UN General Assembly in New York to upgrade Palestinian representation, came after Hamas members in Gaza last week denied offering the president their backing.
But both Meshaal and fellow political bureau member Izzat al-Rishq said Monday that they supported the move, though they warned it should not “compromise” Palestinian “constants and rights.”
“This move must be in the context of a vision and national strategy to maintain the national constants and rights and based on elements of power in the hands of our Palestinian people, the first of which is the resistance,” Meshaal’s statement said.
In his statement, Rishq said he “welcomed” the UN bid but warned it should not “sacrifice or compromise any inch of Palestinian land from the [Mediterranean] sea to the [Jordan] river.”