Top Palestinian Official at UN: Hamas, PFLP Are Not Terrorist Groups

Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, speaks to journalists during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on July 4, 2016. / AFP / ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Algemeiner reports: A senior PLO official and former negotiator with Israel went before a UN forum on Thursday to emphatically deny that Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were terror groups.

“Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations,” Saeb Erekat — the PLO’s secretary-general and a principal negotiator of the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel — declared. “We are a people who strive to achieve our independence — and our choice in the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, is to achieve peace peacefully,” Erekat went on to say in a speech given on the opening day of a two-day UN conference “to mark 50 years of occupation.”

Indicating that Palestinian enthusiasm for US President Donald Trump’s bid to revive direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) was quickly diminishing, Erekat — who spoke to the forum as a representative of the “State of Palestine” — asserted, “We do not have a partner in Israel today. ”

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