THE SON OF Hamas military leader Mazen Fuqaha sits on the shoulders of Hamas Gaza chief Yahya al-Sinwar as Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures during a memorial service for Fuqaha in Gaza City in March..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Two days after Hamas declared that it is ready to meet with Fatah to reach a new reconciliation agreement, a senior Fatah official said Hamas must fulfill a series of conditions before any meeting can take place.
“There will be no meetings or dialogues” until Hamas announces the dissolution of its governing body in the Gaza Strip and enables the Palestinian Authority government to assume responsibility in its place, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad told official PA radio on Wednesday.
Since Hamas ousted the Fatah-dominated PA from Gaza in 2007, the two groups have essentially established two separate governments, one Hamasrun government in Gaza and another PA-led government in the West Bank. Although the two parties have signed a number of reconciliation agreements aimed at creating one shared government, they have failed to implement any one of them.
Following a meeting between senior Hamas officials and Egyptian Intelligence chief Khaled Fawzy on Monday, Hamas announced that it is ready “to hold meetings with Fatah in Cairo immediately to achieve a [reconciliation] agreement” and dismantle its governing body in Gaza.
Ahmad told PA television on Tuesday that while Fatah considers Hamas’s statements “positive,” it wants the organization to dissolve its governing body in Gaza rather than merely announce its readiness to do so.
Ahmad and a handful of other Fatah officials are scheduled to travel to Cairo in the coming days to discuss reconciliation with Hamas with Egyptian officials.
In a separate development, Fatah Central Committee member Nasser al-Qudwa said on Wednesday that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump will meet in New York City on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting next week, a few hours before Abbas delivers a speech to the UN body.
According to an official in the PA president’s office, Abbas’s speech is scheduled for September 20.
Qudwa also said that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is anxious because the Trump administration has yet to take positions
on the two-state solution and settlements.
“Of course, this is a source of anxiety,” Qudwa told a press conference in Ramallah. “The United States is a great state. We need to realize that fact and cooperate with it. But that being said, Palestinian national rights will not be bartered or conceded.”
According to a number of senior Palestinian officials, Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner asked Abbas in a meeting in late August for a few weeks to make a breakthrough in the peace process. It is not clear what Kushner envisions.
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