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Mesha'al-Abbas Cairo Meeting Means Palestinians on the Right Path

November, 25, 2011

Mesha'al: Threats of the occupation proves we are on the right path

[ 25/11/2011 - 09:58 PM ]


Head of the Hamas political bureau, Khalid Mesha'al, said on Friday that the threats issued by the Zionist government following the announcement of agreement between Hamas and Fat'h “do not frighten us, but proves to us that reconciliation is the right path for the Palestinian people.”

Mesha'al added, according to Safa news, that the threats made by the Netanyahu government and holding a meeting for the security cabinet “do not frighten us, but prove to us and assure us that we are on the right path, the path of reconciliation. The Palestinian people are not angered or frightened of anything that is in their interest [..] Why should we be frightened? the Israeli enemy practices its repression daily on all Palestinian people [regardless].”

Mesha'al said that there will be another meeting, on 22nd of December, for the committee concerned with restructuring the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the upcoming elections will be discussed, adding that it was too early to say whether Hamas will field a candidate for the presidential elections.

He also said that after meeting with Abbas he instructed leaders of Hamas at home and in exile to follow a discourse that does not spoil reconciliatory atmosphere.

The PA President Mahmoud Abbas had announced after the meeting with Khalid Mesha'al in Cairo on Thursday the start of a new Palestinian partnership to implement the reconciliation agreement which was reached about seven months ago.

Abbas, Mesha'al, Meet in Cairo, Affirm National Unity

Thursday November 24, 2011 21:16 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas Political Bureau Chief, Khalid Mesha'al, met in Cairo, affirming the Palestinian national unity and partnership. An understanding was reached to hold legislative and presidential elections in May 2012.

Talking to reporters after meeting Hamas delegates in Al-Andalus Palace in Cairo, Abbas stated; “I am pleased to inform the Arab and Islamic Nations that we started a new phase of partnership to best serve the Palestinian people”.

The president described the meeting as "very important" and "positive" as it did not witness any differences between the two movements, and added that all current political developments were discussed in detail, the Arabs48 News Website reported.

“We deal with each other as partners, we have unified responsibility towards our people and our cause”, Abbas said, “We discussed the reconciliation agreement in details, and we are pleased to say that were have no disagreements on any issue, we would like to thank Egypt for its efforts through the years to reach step”.

Abbas added that Egypt was behind the Unity Agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas last May, and that the country never gave up despite all challenges.

On his part, Mesha'al also stated that this meeting is considered a new stage of unity, partnership and seriousness in implementing not only all sections of the Unity Agreement, but also ensuring full partnership in dealing with the current situation, and the future.

“I want to assure everybody, these are not just words, I want everybody to wait and see the real outcome on the ground”, Mashal said, “We hope that our people, all factions, will help us in serving our cause, we are so happy to be in Egypt today, and we would like to thank Egypt’s leadership and people”.

The Hamas-affiliated Website, “The Palestinian Information Center, reported that a meeting will be held on December 22nd, and that this meeting would be part of the unified leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO); an agenda for unity and reconciliation would also be set.

Egyptian officials who participated in the meeting stated that it comes as the initial stage before more further meetings between the two movements take place in order to ensure the formation of a transitional government that would be tasked with preparing for the elections, reconstruction Gaza, ensuring full reconciliation, and unifying all institutions of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The leaders also discussed the future of the PNA, the situation in occupied Jerusalem, reactivating the PLO, and speeding up the measures to reconstruct the Palestinian National Council.

They also expressed support to the popular struggle in Palestine, and the efforts to unify and strengthen it.

The Hamas-affiliated Palestine-Info reported that Fatah and Hamas also agreed to end the file of political prisoners, held by Hamas-run security forces in Gaza, and Fatah-run security forces in the West Bank.


Fatah and Hamas claim power-sharing progress

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal held talks on Thursday in a bid to reach an agreement on national unity. They confirmed a May election but have yet to resolve other key issues.

By FRANCE 24 (video)
News Wires (text)

REUTERS - Leaders of Fatah and Hamas met for the first time in six months and hailed progress toward ending a rift that has led to separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza, but there was no sign of a breakthrough.

The last meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Cairo in May yielded an agreement aimed at reuniting the Palestinian territories under a single government that would oversee new elections set for May 2012. There has been no progress towards implementation since then.

Hamas defeated Fatah in a 2006 parliamentary election and has run the Gaza Strip since 2007, when it seized control of the territory from the Abbas administration.

Since then, the Iran- and Syria-backed group has built its own government and security forces, complicating any attempt to reunite Gaza with the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

Abbas, in comments carried by the Palestinian news agency WAFA, said after the Thursday talks there were “no differences between us now”. Meshaal, who lives in exile in Damascus, said: “We have opened in a new page of partnership.”

Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, said the leaders would hold another meeting to continue discussions.

Abbas wants the head of his Ramallah administration, the independent former World Bank economist Salam Fayyad, to stay on as prime minister. That choice is rejected by Hamas and there has been recent speculation Abbas is now willing to give way.


Fatah and Hamas representatives said there was agreement that elections should happen in May as agreed in the deal. But analysts doubt whether the vote will happen if the sides have not formed a government by then.

In a sign of some tangible progress, the sides announced that an all-encompassing Palestinian leadership body tasked with reforming the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) would hold its first meeting on December 22. The body was first envisioned by a 2005 agreement among Palestinian factions.

The PLO, led by Abbas, was founded in 1964 and is recognised internationally as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

Hamas is not currently part of the PLO, which is dominated by the Fatah movement. Hamas, which is shunned by the West for its hostility to Israel, believes that joining the PLO would bolster its international standing.

“It’s been a long wait but God willing it will finally happen,” said Izzat al-Rishq, a Hamas official, referring to the Dec. 22 meeting.

“This is the start of the participation of Hamas in the PLO,” said Hany al-Masri, a Palestinian political commentator based in Ramallah who has been involved in efforts to foster reconciliation. “It’s not the end of the road, but it’s a step.”

A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian unity moves were reducing the prospects for peace.

“The closer Abu Mazen gets to Hamas, the further he moves away from peace,” Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said.

Israel briefly withheld tax revenues collected on behalf of Abbas’s Palestinian Authority earlier this year in response to the unity agreement.

It took a similar step this month following the Palestinians’ successful bid to join the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO. Fayyad said on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority was “fast approaching the point of being completely incapacitated" by Israel's freeze on tax revenues.

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The Abbas-Mesha'al encounter: what is next?

PIC, [ 24/11/2011 - 11:30 PM ]

By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

Despite its inconclusiveness, the Cairo meeting between Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mesha'al was a positive step toward the restoration and even solidification of Palestinian national unity.

It is hoped that subsequent efforts promised by Fatah and Hamas will finally put an end to this erratic and sorry episode of Palestinian life.

The meeting itself, especially the positive spirit and optimistic tone surrounding it, drew angry reactions from the Zionist.

The uninterrupted barking coming from the Shipyard dogs in Tel Aviv threatened doom and gloom if the Palestinians reunified their ranks. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly warned that not a dime would be transferred to Palestinian coffers from the tax and customs revenue levied by Israel on behalf of the PA in accordance with the scandalous Paris economic protocol signed in Paris in 1994.

Notorious for his racist outlook and fascist mindset, Lieberman stopped short of saying "that either the PA follows Israeli dictates to the letter, or we will strangle the PA financially and economically."

The Nazi-like tone must not intimidate the Palestinians or make them slow down in pursuing national unity or rethink their legitimate national goals.

If we pay the slightest attention to Lieberman's barking, imagine how vociferous and frenzied he and people of his ilk would look when we insist on such paramount issues as Jerusalem and the right of return for millions of displaced Palestinians who were uprooted and expelled from their homes in what is now Israel when the evil entity came into being in 1948.

Hence, any genuine national reconciliation agreement involving Palestinian factions, one that is worthy of the name, must be reached in spite of Israel, not with her permission.

Mesha'al and Abbas reportedly agreed to hold elections by May. Details in this regard need to be finalized and many serious questions need to be answered satisfactorily, otherwise the organization of elections could prove to be a step backward.

First of all, we have to remind ourselves that Israel, not the PA, controls the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the Israeli occupation maintains its provocative presence in every nook and cranny in the occupied territories.

This means that Israel, not the PA, has the final say with regard to every detail pertaining to the elections. Believing or thinking otherwise is an exercise of political naivety, to put it mildly.

Besides, Israel is likely to prevent or at least seriously disrupt electioneering and campaigning by Hamas, a main contender in the electoral process.

Israel is actually likely to arrest and imprison Hamas candidates before or after the elections. Therefore, one is prompted to ask how Palestinian factions, particularly Hamas, could consent to elections that would swell the residents of Israeli dungeons and detention centers.

Perhaps Hamas would obtain guarantees to forestall this prospect, which is too true and too realistic to be hypothetical.

After all, dozens of Hamas legislative council members, elected in 2006, are still languishing in Israeli dungeons without charge or trial?

In any case, Hamas must not approach this issue lightly because Israel is a venomous, vindictive snake and her vehement enmity to every thing Islamist or even Islamic has not abated an iota.

In short, Israel can't be trusted and we don't need to repeat the previous experience, otherwise it would be a real exercise in political stupidity, and imbecility.

I have no doubt that the Hamas leadership at home and abroad are well aware of this treacherous precipice. This makes it imperative for Hamas to explain to the Palestinian people why it thinks that holding elections under the existing circumstances is the right choice.

Hamas might seek guarantees from Arab states that have diplomatic ties with Israel, particularly Egypt. But would such guarantees be sufficient?

In any case, we all hope and pray that the next elected government in Egypt, in which the Islamists would have a strong influence, will create an absolute linkage between commitment to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty and Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

But in the absence of an iron-clad commitment of this sort, Hamas should never embark on an adventure whose end is not clear and subject to Israeli whims.

More to the point, it is crystal clear that objective circumstances are conspicuously absent for holding true elections in the West Bank. Today, and regardless to the overwhelming Israeli factor, the PA remains more or less a police state apparatus. People exercising their human rights and civil liberties are routinely persecuted and arrested because they are deemed "non-conformist."

Besides, the PA has been using schools, public media, colleges, and all public institutions to indoctrinate people into supporting Fatah and resenting Hamas.

This means that a great deal of desensitization must be carried out in order to give all factions equal chances in the election process. Some people would suggest that the elections be postponed a few more months in order to further affect the process of desensitization.

Finally, Palestinian factions, all of them, must be faithful to Palestinian national constants, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees as well as Jerusalem.

In addition, Fatah and Hamas must also be honest with regard to the possibility of dismantling the Palestinian Authority if and when it becomes amply clear that the PA has become a liability rather than an asset for the Palestinian quest for freedom and independence, including the creation of a viable and territorially contiguous state on 100% of the occupied territories.

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