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Middle East

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal backs Palestinian UN bid

media Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the crowd during a rally in support of his efforts to secure a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Ramallah Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

The exiled head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, spoke told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday that his party supports the upcoming bid for non-member observer status at the UN. Palestine is bidding for the status upgrade on Thursday, in the teeth of opposition from the United States and Israel.

Meshaal stressed that his support for the UN bid follows what he described as “a victory of our people in Gaza” after eight days of conflict with Israel.

Audio report 27/11/2012 - by Ruth Michaelson Listen

A statement later released to the press repeated Meshaal’s take on the bid, adding that it must focus on the rights of Palestinians through a nationalistic vision.

It also argued that a key part of the bid is to uphold the concept of resistance, an idea which could change the tenor of the UN General Assembly debate due to be held on Thursday.

Previously the bid to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer has been aligned more with the tactics of Abbas’s Fatah party, focusing on the realisation of a Palestinian state within borders set before the 1967 Arab-Israeli  war, that would be achieved through diplomatic means.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Hamas’s support for the bid comes at a moment of unity with former rival Fatah, with both parties offering amnesty to political prisoners in both the West Bank and Gaza. T

his comes after Israeli forces arrested 28 Palestinians in the West Bank, including five Hamas members, last Friday.

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