PA Seeking to Bring DFLP leader into West Bank

RAMALLAH, February 2, 2013 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Authority (PA) is exerting effort to bring Nayef Hawatmeh, leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), one of the main factions in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), to reside in the Palestinian Territory, a top DFLP member said Saturday.

According to Qais Abdul Karim (Abu Laila), the PA has contacted Israel to allow Hawatmeh to come and live in the Palestinian Territory.

He told the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi that even though Hawatmeh has obtained a national number that would allow him to take up residence in the Palestinian areas, Israel still puts obstacles in the way of his return.

Hawatmeh, 74, joined the PLO in 1968 as one of the leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). He later broke away from the PFLP and established the DFLP on February 22, 1969, which he has been heading since then.

He got a national number as a result of the 1993 Oslo process that would have allowed him to return to live in the Palestinian areas, as did many of his colleagues. However, he opted to stay abroad.

Some reports said Israel has conditioned Hawatmeh’s return on the DFLP disavowing armed struggle.

However, Abdul Karim denied that there was such a condition saying he never heard of it, insisting instead that the Israeli ban is political because Israel “does not want more nationalist leaders, such as Hawatmeh,” to live inside the occupied land.

Israel “wants to deny him the right to live in his homeland and to return to his country because of his political stand,” he said.

Hawatmeh is the only member of the PLO leadership who does not live in the Palestinian Territory.

Source: WAFA News