.... In an interview with a Lebanese newspaper, the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon, Abdullah Abdullah, said Palestinian refugees would not necessarily become citizens of any new Palestinian State. "They are Palestinians, that's their identity. But ... they are not automatically citizens. Even Palestinian refugees who are living in [refugee camps] inside the [then-Palestinian] state are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens." He added that the new state would "absolutely not" issue Palestinian passports to refugees, lest they be understood to be citizens of Palestine.
"When we have a state accepted as a member of the United Nations, this is not the end of the conflict. This is not a solution to the conflict. This is only a new framework that will change the rules of the game."
Palestinian fealty to the "right of return," and objection to an Israel with "secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force" (the promise to Israel of UN Resolution 242) are incompatible. No Palestinian leader can make that concession on behalf of others. Khaled Abu Toameh, Arab affairs reporter for The Jerusalem Post got to the heart of the intra-Palestinian struggle, a place Secretary Kerry has never been: "The Hamas announcement [that no negotiated settlement would be acceptable] serves as a reminder that any U.S.-brokered deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not mean the end of the conflict." Not only is Hamas opposed, according to Abu Toameh, but most of the organizations that comprise the Palestine Liberation Organization (of which Fatah is only one member) would reject it as well.
If Secretary Kerry would leave off the hubris of thinking that everyone wants what he thinks they ought to want, he might find himself closer to a definitive American position. Not a "peace agreement" -- "peace" was never on the table -- but a definitive understanding of the degree of internal difficulty in the Palestinian position, and a definitive understanding that, in fact, the Israelis and Palestinians do not seek the same end -- and neither seeks the end the United States has put on the table in the form of an American bridging proposal.