A FREED Palestinian prisoner waves a Hamas flag upon his arrival at the Rafah crossing with Egypt in the southern Gaza Strip in October, 2011..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas on Saturday announced that it will not attend a meeting of a top Palestine Liberation Organization body this week.
“We have made the decision to forgo participating in the meeting of the Central Council in Ramallah,” Hamas Politburo member Husam Badran said in a statement published on the movement’s official website.
The Palestinian Central Council, the PLO’s second highest decision- making body, is scheduled to convene in Ramallah on Sunday and Monday.
The meeting has been called in order to set an overall strategy for the coming period of time in light of President Donald Trump’s change to American policy on Jerusalem by recognizing it as the capital of Israel, according to Palestinian officials.
In a speech at the White House in early December, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and initiated the relocation of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, breaking with decades of American policy and infuriating Palestinian officials.
Even though Hamas is not a PLO member, it was invited to participate in the council meeting.
Hamas had wanted the council meeting to be held outside of the West Bank, where its top leaders can travel.