PFLP will not Join Arafat at Camp David Summit
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) will not attend the Camp David summit because it objects to Israel's hard line and feels United States pressure will only be exercised on the Palestinians, its leader said Sunday.
Abu Ali Mustapha said "we refuse to participate because of the five 'no's' of (Israeli Prime Minister) Ehud Barak that constitute the starting point for discussions and that will permit him yet again to gain time."
Mustapha, who just Saturday was elected secretary-general of the PFLP and who has the reputation of being a pragmatist, was referring to five "red lines," or non-negotiable positions, Barak has said he will take with him to the summit.
On Thursday, Barak said he would not accept a return to the borders in place before the June 1967 Middle East war, when Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt.
He would not accept Jerusalem, which Israel has declared its united and eternal capital, being re-divided, and there would be no return of Palestinian refugees to Israel or a foreign army west of the Jordan river.
Finally, he said that up to 90 percent of Jewish settlers in the Palestinian territories, regrouped into blocks of settlements, would come under Israeli sovereignty.
The PFLP is one of the three groups that make up the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Arafat had invited all members of the opposition to attend the summit.
But Mustapha said the "aim of Israel is to force capitulation on the Palestinians and not to make peace with them."
He also objected to the United States being "the sole arbitors of negotiations with the Palestinians, as experience shows that the Americans always pressure only the Palestinians."
Mustapha also expressed opposition to plans announced earlier to submit to Palestinian voters any peace accord that might be reached at Camp David.
"It is unacceptable to organize a referendum bearing on the natural rights of Palestinians," he said.
"The battle is not over, and our problems cannot be resolved by negotiations but by the long struggle of the Palestinian people," Mustapha said.
The PFLP opposed the 1993 Oslo accord signed by Arafat, which led to Palestinian autonomy - RAMALLAH (AFP)
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