Published today (updated) 28/03/2011 16:30 RAMALLAH (Ma'an) --
President Mahmoud Abbas asked the Executive Committee of the
Palestine Liberation Organization to convene the body's Constitution
Committee, government news agency WAFA reported.
He advised the
committee that it should draw up amendments to the PLO charter by the
end of September.
The committee was first convened in 2005, after
unity talks between 13 Palestinian factions in Cairo led to an agreement
which paved the way for legislative elections in 2006.
elements of the agreement were never enforced, however, including the
amendment of the PLO constitution and integration of Hamas and Islamic
Jihad into the PLO framework.
The council has not met since
In a statement Monday, Abbas said the council should
finalize its work by September 31, when Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's
state-building project is scheduled to be completed.
president urged the committee to convene "as soon as possible," either
in Amman or in Cairo.
The committee, according to the original
agreement, included the president of the National Council, the members
of the PLO's Executive Committee, the secretary-generals of all
Palestinian factions and independent national personalities.
2007, the prisoners' document called on Palestinian factions to "work
quickly on achieving what has been agreed upon in Cairo in March 2005
pertaining to the development and activation of the PLO and the joining
of Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movements to the PLO which is the legitimate
and sole representative of the Palestinian people wherever they are
Abbas Meets Hamas Leaders In The West Bank
Sunday March 27, 2011 00:12 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, met on Saturday with Hamas
representatives in the West Bank and told them he plans to head to Gaza
in an attempt to end internal rifts and to form an interim unity
government run by independent figures.
During the meeting, Abbas stated that there can be no peace with
Israel without establishing an independent Palestinian state with
Jerusalem as its capital.
The Hamas leaders who met Abbas are
Dr. Aziz Duwaik, Nasseruddeen Al-Sha'er, Samir Abu Aisha, Abdul Rahman
Zeidan, Ayman Daraghma, Mohammad Abu Teir and Wasfi Qabha.
also stated that the Palestinians need to achieve unity and
reconciliation before they can hold national and presidential elections.
Ten days ago, Abbas presented an initiative offering to head to
the Gaza Strip to hold talks with Hamas leaders in order to boost unity
efforts. and to form a new interim government.
Saturday meeting with Hamas representatives in the West Bank, Abbas
presented details regarding his plan that basically states that the
interim government will include technocrats and national figures who
will start preparing for new legislative and presidential elections, in
addition to preparing for new elections for the Palestinian National
Abbas stated that the current changes in the region and
the rising challenges at home, mainly the Israeli threats to launch a
new offensive against Gaza, push the Palestinians to unite, and stressed
on the importance of maintaining truce with Israel.
News Agency interviewed former Minister of Detainees, Dr. Wasfi Qabha,
one of the Hamas leaders who met Abbas Saturday, who stated that Abbas
clarified some main issues and confirmed that national talks will not
start from scratch, but will pick up from the point they stopped and
will be based on what have been agreed upon during previous unity talks
Qabha stated that he believes that Hamas will
positively respond to Abbas, especially since the meeting created a
positive impression while several Hamas leaders welcomed Abbas’
initiative to visit Gaza for the first time since bloody clashes took
place between Hamas and Fateh gunmen in 2007.
During the meeting
with Abbas, Palestinian Legislative Council head, Dr. Aziz Duwaik,
handed the president a letter which he described as a letter that does
not represent Hamas’ Political Bureau, but represents the Palestinian
Dr. Duwaik added that the letter also includes a number
of issues that, if approved, could lead to reconciliation.
two-hour meeting also stressed on the importance of stopping political
arrests, political profiling, and other issues that jeopardize trust
between different factions.
Dr. Duwaik also welcomed the
initiative of Abbas but stated that Hamas will officially announce its
response in the coming few days.
Head of the Fat'h parliamentary
bloc, Azzam Al Ahmad, also described the meeting as positive, adding
that, so far, Hamas did not conduct any practical measures to facilitate
Al Ahmad added that he hopes all obstacles will be
removed, confirming that practical results cannot be achieved without
ensuring that Abbas makes it into the Gaza Strip.
stated that despite some negative statements made by a number of Hamas
leaders regarding the initiative of Abbas, Fat'h will conduct all needed
efforts to create a positive atmosphere to end internal divisions and
In related news, Hamas stated Saturday
that resistance factions in the Gaza Strip agreed to halt the firing of
homemade shells into adjacent Israeli areas should Israel stop it
attacks against the coastal region.
Hamas spokesperson in Gaza,
Ismail Radwan, stated following a meeting with leaders of several
factions in Gaza that resistance groups are committed to restoring calm
across the border as long as Israel is committed to restoring the
Palestinian Prime Minister Meets US Defense Secretary;
Demands Palestinian State By September
Saturday March 26, 2011 11:32 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News
Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority led by
the Fat'h party, met on Friday with Robert Gates, the US Secretary of
State, who was visiting Ramallah after a visit with the Israeli Prime
Minister earlier on Friday.
During the meeting, the Palestinian
Prime Minister set a deadline of September for the implementation of a
plan laid out two years ago that would establish a provisional
Palestinian state, and begin a pull-out of Israeli troops and settlers
from the occupied Palestinian Territories.
Mission in the US issued a statement saying, “The recent cycle of
violence in the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem indicates the urgent need to
end the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the Israeli military occupation
of the Palestinian people.”
The Mission, which represents the
Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, the higher Palestinian entity
which supervises the Palestinian Authority, urged US President
Barack Obama to unequivocally condemn violence by both Palestinians and
The US President recently made statements condemning
the murder of a settler family in Itamar settlement, allegedly by a
Palestinian; the firing of homemade shells by Palestinian resistance
fighters that lightly injured two Israelis, and a bomb in Jerusalem
allegedly planted by a Palestinian that killed one Israeli woman. But
Obama did not mention the killing of eight Palestinians, including three
children, by an Israeli missile, which also took place over the last
Salam Fayyad told the US Defense Secretary in their meeting
that the Israeli incursions, which occur on a daily basis into
Palestinian villages and cities, and the continual confiscation of
Palestinian land for Israel's colonial settlement expansion, both hinder
peace efforts and make negotiation impossible.