Abbas, Hamas Lawmakers Meet Amid Continuing Differences

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas met with some two dozen Hamas lawmakers in Ramallah

Abbas, Hamas Lawmakers Meet Amid Continuing Differences


The Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Nasser al Din al Sha'er described the meeting as "positive and held in positive atmosphere."

However, Fatah official Nabil Amr was visibly pessimistic.

"This is dialogue is going nowhere. There may be no way but to go ahead with the referendum," said Nabil Amre, referring to Abass's intention to hold a referendum over the prisoners' document in case Fatah, Hamas, and other Palestinian factions failed to reach a common strategy vis-à-vis Israel.

A few hours before the meeting with Hamas's leaders, Abbas reasserted his intention to hold a referendum, saying the Palestinian people were facing a real predicament which required action.

The document stipulates the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in return for an implicit recognition of Israel

Speaking earlier during a televised interview marking the 42ed anniversary of the foundation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Abbas said he didn't believe that Palestinian factions needed more than ten days to reach a concordance.

"We don't want dialogue for the sake of dialogue, we are facing extremely difficult circumstances and our people expect results from us."

Abbas denied that he was pessimistic with regard to the prospects of an inter-factional agreement on the contents of the "Prisoners' document," saying "we don't have Palestinians who say 'after me the deluge."

Abbas praised the Speaker of Palestinian parliament Aziz Duweik, saying he displayed national responsibility when he proposed a broad national dialogue to overcome the present crisis facing the Palestinian people.

Duweik is viewed by many observers as representing the more pragmatic wing of Hamas in comparison to the more hard-line leadership in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, sources close to Haniya criticized Abbas for not staying long enough in Gaza to hammer out an understanding with the Hamas-led government over the a unified Palestinian position.

Ahmed Yousuf, a senior political advisor to the Palestinian Prime Minister, also complained that "people around Abbas" were not conveying to him the right information with regard to the government position on the document.

"I think they don't tell him the truth, the whole truth. This is why the President and the Prime Minister ought to meet in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

"Besides the Palestinian people expect the government to complement the Presidency and the Presidency to complement the government."

Meanwhile, reliable Islamist sources in the West Bank have intimated to PIC that there are "differences within Hamas's senior leaders" over the most appropriate approach the movement should adopt toward the Prisoners' document.

The sources, which demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, pointed out that the bulk of Hamas's West Bank leadership was in favor adopting the document with minor modifications.

The same sources intimated that the main opposition to the document came from "Hamas's hardcore" leadership in the Gaza Strip which he said refused to accept any implied recognition of Israel on the ground that such a recognition is incompatible with Sharia or Islamic Law.

The Prisoners' document doesn't call explicitly for Palestinian recognition of Israel, but states that Palestinians would accept a state within the 1967 territories with East Jerusalem as its capital in return for peace with Israel.

Some Hamas leaders, including Khalid Masha'al, have on several occasions spoken along the same lines, suggesting the adoption of the document by Hamas wouldn't constitute a radical departure from its present over all posture.

Source: The Palestinian Information Center

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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