Speaking to young Fatah activists on March 6, 2014, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that any agreement must be “confirmed by popular referendum of all the Palestinians worldwide.” “We shall never agree to recognize the Jewish state,” he said.
Following are excerpts, which aired on Palestinian Authority TV:
Mahmoud Abbas: Our position is that the settlements – from start to finish – are illegal. They talk about settlement blocs, or about settlements here and there, but we say that every house and every stone that were placed in the West Bank since 1967 and to this day are illegal and we do not recognize them.
No resolution that we agree upon with the others will be passed unless it is confirmed by popular referendum of all the Palestinians worldwide.
Every Palestinian, from Canada to Japan – that includes the Palestinians living abroad as well – will have to agree on the proposal. They will vote in favor or against. If they say "no," the proposal will not pass.
The Right of Return is a personal right. If you are a refugee, your son is a refugee as well. Perhaps you will decide to relinquish this right while your son decides not to, or vice versa. Your son is free to do so. When we say that this is a personal choice, it means that he can decide for himself. We will all be making a choice: One option is to remain where we are – in Jordan, in Syria, in Lebanon, and so on – and receive compensation…Of course…
The second option is to go to another country, as part of an agreement. If someone wants to emigrate to Canada, he is free to do so. Wherever one goes, one remains a Palestinian. In this case, he will receive compensation as well.
The third option is to decide to return to the Palestinian state, and to receive compensation.
He can also decide to return to the State of Israel. In such a case, he will receive compensation and return.
These are the options that we place before the Palestinians. They will choose. If you want to stay where you are – fine. If you want to go abroad – fine. If you want to come to Palestine – fine. If you choose to return [to Israel] and hold Israeli citizenship… This is what it means. Someone asked me how he could become an Israeli citizen. I asked him if he wanted to continue to be stateless after he is back. He will be returning to the State of Israel.
All the refugees who number 5 million today, along with their offspring, are considered 1948 refugees. There are no refugees who came from Nablus or Ramallah. They are all from Tiberius, Safed, Acre, Nazareth, Jaffa, Beersheba, and so on.
What we do not want to accept is the "Jewish state." We shall never agree to recognize the Jewish state.