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UPDATED: 13:53, June 10, 2006
Haneya urges Abbas not to call referendum on prisoners' document
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Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneya called on President Mahmoud Abbas not to call a referendum on a prisoners' document in the Palestinian territories as deadline expired on Friday.

"The idea of the referendum has many risks against the unity of the Palestinian people," Haneya said in a written message sent to Abbas on Friday.

"I fear that the referendum may cause a historical crack that the Palestinian issue will suffer from for coming decades," he said.

Official sources had earlier revealed that President Abbas would issue a decree on Saturday to hold a referendum on the prisoners' document, which was considered to recognize Israel implicitly, within 40 days in the Palestinian territories.

The document, also known as the Document of National Accordance, calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the territories that were occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab- Israeli war.

"For the sake of Allah (God), the sake of Islam and the sake of the blood of martyr, please my brother Abu Mazen (Abbas) don't call for a referendum," Haneya said in the message.

Haneya also said that "an urgent national dialogue" over the prisoners' document to reach "a national harmony paving the way towards the formation of a national-unity (coalition) government."

Abbas opened on May 25 a national dialogue by asking Palestinian factions to accept and adopt within ten days the prisoners' document, or he would put the proposal to a referendum within 40 days.

Source: Xinhua

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