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
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
Abed Rabbo is also the head of the Palestinian branch of the
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.
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
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.”
condemned the encounter in Ramallah as a “form of normalization” with
Hamas spokesmen in the Gaza Strip said that such meetings were
intended to “provide a cover for the occupation to continue.”
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.