As the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were launched
on Wednesday, two of Fatah’s prominent figures have come out against the talks,
criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas for abandoning his preconditions for
entering into negotiations.
Jailed Fatah operative Marwan Barghouti said
that the talks were doomed to fail and called on the PA leadership to focus on
ending the power struggle with Hamas.
Barghouti was quoted by Reuters as
saying that he supported the talks in principle, but was worried because
Palestinians went to Washington under international pressure.
said that Abbas was forced to go to the talks because of pressure from
Americans, Europeans and some Arab countries, and not because he
believes in the
efficiency of the negotiations.
Barghouti also pointed out that Abbas did
not have enough backing from the Palestinian population to hold direct
“The talks won’t achieve any results without popular
support,” he said. “The alternative to the talks should be national
reconciliation and popular resistance against the occupation.”
Fatah security commander Muhammad Dahlan also criticized the PA
going to the talks unconditionally. He said that Abbas also made a
agreeing to go to the talks before receiving assurances from the US
Dahlan said that the Palestinians only received “verbal
assurances” from Washington.
He added that under such conditions, the
talks would not produce any positive results.
Dahlan accused the US
administration of abandoning its role as mediator and becoming “managers
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s PR campaign.”
Dahlan also expressed
disappointment with some Arab countries for putting pressure on the PA
to move from indirect to direct talks with Israel.
“In Fatah, we believe
that going to the talks in this way won’t lead to any positive results,”
said. “All that Abbas can do now is say no to any issue that contradicts
national interests of the Palestinians.”