Editorial Note: The
following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology.
Comments are in parentheses.
Mesha'al-Abbas Cairo Meeting Means
Palestinians on the Right Path
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
dozens of Hamas legislative council members, elected in 2006, are still
languishing in Israeli dungeons without charge or trial?
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.
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?
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
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."
PA has been using schools, public media, colleges, and all public
institutions to indoctrinate people into supporting Fatah and resenting
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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