On July 2, 2008, the PA produced a "talking points" memo about how the so-called "refugee" problem would ultimately be solved. Presumably this was meant to be used in negotiations with the US and Israel. But by its nature, it is not an off-the-cuff comment of negotiators floating trial balloons to the other side, but an official (if unpublished) position of the PA.
First of all, the PA makes it very clear that they do not want to be the place that some 7 million "refugees" will move to live:
The viability of the future Palestinian State is closely linked to the evolution of the Palestinian population that will live within the future States borders. In this regard, the terms of a settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue and the number of Palestinian refugees who will be offered to resettle or return to the future State of Palestine is a core parameter required to assess the viability of that State.Unlike Israel in 1948, which opened its doors to Jews all over the world even though it was severely restricted in resources and cash, the PA is not going to start an open-door policy. In other words, they don't seem to care nearly as much about their fellow "Palestinians" living in stateless misery as Israel does about Jews.
The resettlement/return of refugee communities touches numerous issues such as housing availabilities, access to water, education and social services, employment opportunities, infrastructure, environment etc. The ability of the Palestinian State to meet refugee needs and ensure an efficient functioning of these services will ultimately determine its viability.
While the PA will still insist on the theoretical "right to return," it recognizes realistically that other Arab states are going to have to offer citizenship:
The Palestinian/Arab peace proposal regarding Palestinian refugees is to find a “just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UNGA resolution 194”. The goal is to reach a multilateral solution that will be accepted by all parties. For the resolution to be a success, Israel, host States (Jordan, Syria, Lebanon) and third countries will have to offer attractive options to refugees. Therefore, the viability of the Palestinian State also greatly relies on the ability of these stakeholders and the international community to provide with concrete relocation options to Palestinian refugees.All of this is obvious, but the PA is publicly silent on the issue. Instead of laying the framework to get these Arab countries to gear up for their ultimate naturalization of their Palestinian Arab population, the PA's public position has been the opposite of what this paper states.
In fact, only a few months earlier, Mahmoud Abbas told The Daily Star of Lebanon:
"We would not accept any settlements that would lead to a demographic change in Lebanon. This is totally unacceptable ... We won't accept a settlement that obliges Lebanon to naturalize even one Palestinian."
It is impossible to believe that Mahmoud Abbas was not aware of the contents of this talking points memo. Which means that either he was lying to the Lebanese, or he was lying to the Americans.
Either way, it shows that he is a liar.