Hamas says Guterres' visit to Gaza is "unwelcome"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-29 23:32:53|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

GAZA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Gaza Strip is "unwelcome", a senior Islamic Hamas Movement official said on Tuesday.

Ahmed Bahar, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, or parliament, criticized Guterres for what he called "a double standard, where he stands with the offender against the victim."

Bahar added that the second reason for not welcoming Guterres' visit to Gaza is that the UN chief does not include on his agenda the issue of relatives of Palestinian prisoners are banned by Israel from visiting their children in Israeli jails.

Guterres, on his first trip to the region, is to travel to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Wednesday after visiting Israel and the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The UN chief held meetings with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah in Ramallah on Tuesday, following his meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin on Monday.

However, the cabinet of the Palestinian consensus government, headed by Hamdallah, welcomed the first visit of Guterres to the Palestinian territories.

It said in a statement that the visit "is of great importance in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation of our land since 1967."

The visit "also marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine and the plight of the Palestinian people," the statement said.

Guterres said after meeting Hamdallah that the two-state solution remains the only viable way to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while calling the Israeli settlements as an obstacle to the two-state solution.

Meanwhile, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) downplayed the results of Guterres' visit to the Palestinian territories, citing the UN's "inability to impose anything on Israel."

It stressed in a statement that Guterres is required to "compel Israel to implement the UN resolutions and end its ongoing aggression against our people, away from the policy of begging or gathering the victim and the executioner in one basket."