Yesterday there were reports that implied Mahmoud Abbas might allow thousands of imperiled Syrian Palestinians to enter the West Bank, as opposed to what had been reported last week.
Last night, however, Abbas made it very clear that he will not act to save the lives of these people in danger - because of the principles involved.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina repeated on Monday evening that President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel's condition to allow up to 150,000 Syrian Palestinians to the relative safety of the PA.
Israel said it would allow them to come to the West Bank if the immigrants would sign that they are giving up their claim to move to Israel itself.
Abu Rudeina said that Abbas rejected this condition "categorically." He said "The issue of Palestinian refugees and the right of return are final status issues, and one may not act against international resolutions providing for their return to their homeland and their homes, which they fled, in particular resolution 194, which provides for the right of return of Palestinian refugees."
You see? They must die because the principle of misinterpreting a non-binding UNGA resolution and to avoid "final status" issues in a moribund "peace process" is more important than human lives!
Note also that Abbas is not giving the Syrian Arabs of Palestinian descent even the option of making their own decision in this matter. He is dooming perhaps hundreds more to death, because to him and other Arab leaders, their entire utility is to act as pawns to pressure Israel on the bogus "right of return" - and if they are not acting as these pawns, they might as well just die.
People say that Abbas is taking pages out of the Zionist playbook in trying to build a state, but the contrast between how Zionists were willing to compromise on their state in order to save Jewish lives and how callously Palestinian Arab leaders act towards their "people" could not be starker.
(Remember when the world media breathlessly reported that Abbas was softening on the "right to return" a couple of months ago? Yet another example of wishful thinking trumping explicit Palestinian Arab statements? Good times.)
Four more Palestinian Arabs were killed in the past few days in Syria. Their families should send a "Thank You" card to Mahmoud Abbas.