Palestinian groups decry meeting between PLO, Israel as ‘normalization’

Fatah-controlled Palestinian Journalists Syndicate: "These Zionists are the staunchest enemies of our rights."

PLO Exec. C'tee Sec.-Gen Abed Rabbo 311 (R) (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)
PLO Exec. C'tee Sec.-Gen Abed Rabbo 311 (R)
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)
Fatah and other Palestinian factions on Tuesday condemned a meeting that took place in Ramallah earlier this week between PLO representatives and Israeli politicians.
The Israeli delegation to the meeting – which was organized by the Geneva Initiative group – included members of the Likud and Shas, rabbis, political consultants and municipal council members.
During their visit to Ramallah, the Israelis met with PLO Secretary-General Yasser Abed Rabbo, top Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath, PLO Executive Committee member Mohamed Masri, and Ashraf al-Ajrami, a former minister for prisoner affairs in the Palestinian Authority.
Abed Rabbo is also the head of the Palestinian branch of the Geneva Initiative.
The meeting took place in spite of an ongoing campaign by Palestinians to combat any form of “normalization” with Israel. In recent months, the anti-normalization campaign condemned similar meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.
The campaign led to the cancellation of several Israeli- Palestinian events that were supposed to take place under the auspices of various European and American organizations.
The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the West Bank has joined the anti-normalization campaign by demanding that its members refrain from meeting Israeli colleagues.
Referring to the most recent meeting in Ramallah, Fatah said: “We condemn normalization and those behind it. Such meetings are void of political content and a waste of time. They are unjustified, nationally and politically.”
The faction said in a leaflet that such meetings were in violation of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s position to halt meetings with the Israeli government.
According to Fatah, the Ramallah meeting “ignored the feelings of our people and the living memory among our people – that these Zionists are the staunchest enemies of our rights.”
The Fatah statement concluded, “While we strongly condemn such meetings and categorically reject them, we call upon our leadership to form a commission of inquiry to hold accountable those responsible.”
Hamas also condemned the encounter in Ramallah as a “form of normalization” with Israel.
Hamas spokesmen in the Gaza Strip said that such meetings were intended to “provide a cover for the occupation to continue.”
Yehya Musa, a senior Hamas official, said that the meeting was mainly aimed at “beautifying the face of occupation.”
Several other groups issued strong condemnations against Israeli-Palestinian meetings. Among the groups that expressed opposition to the last meeting were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Islamic Jihad.