TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday proposed a “simple solution” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict under which “everyone should go home.”
“If the backers of the Zionist regime want to solve the issue … the solution is simple … everyone should go home,” he told an international conference in Tehran.
“Some poor people were brought to Palestine on the promise of security and jobs while they made Palestinian people into refugees… So now Palestinians should go home and those brought here should go to theirs,” he said.
Tehran’s two-day International Conference on Palestine was attended by parliamentarians from some 20 nations and figures including Khaled Mashaal, exiled chief of the Gaza-ruling faction Hamas.
Mashaal told the conference on Saturday that Palestinian lands must be liberated before a state can be announced, Hamas-affiliated website the Palestinian Information Center reported.
At the opening on Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic republic “totally rejects” President Mahmoud Abbas’s bid for acceptance of a Palestinian state at the UN, stating what he called his opposition to the division of Palestinian lands.
“The two-state scheme, which has been clad in the self-righteousness of the acceptance of the Palestinian government and membership at the United Nations, is nothing but a capitulation to the demands of the Zionists or the recognition of the Zionist regime on Palestinian land,” he declared.
On Sept. 23, the UN Security Council took up a request for full recognition of a Palestinian state over the vehement opposition of Israel and the United States.
Iran has not recognized Israel since its 1979 Islamic revolution and backs Palestinian groups who oppose the state, including Islamist movement Hamas, which has also criticized the UN bid as “begging” for a state.
Senior Hamas leader Ahmad Bahar speaking in Tehran on Saturday urged President Abbas to talk openly about “the negotiation path with brought Palestinians to an impasse,” and found a unified strategy for ending Israel’s occupation.
Abbas insists that it was 20 years of failed negotiations with Israel that forced him to go to the world body, to push leaders to follow through on the international community’s commitments to the Palestinians.
Israel, the US, and international diplomats have urged Abbas to return to negotiations in a bid to avert a diplomatic showdown, in which the US has vowed to veto the Palestinian application.
Hamas says the membership bid has been pursued without consultation with other Palestinian factions, and is a “dead end” move.
Hamas — whose party leadership are in exile in Damascus — took control of the Gaza Strip after ousting forces loyal to Abbas’ Fatah party in 2007. The rival factions signed a reconciliation deal in May, which has yet to be implemented.
(www.maannews.net / 02.10.2011)