Abbas, Qatar's al-Thani, and Mashaal_390.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas on Tuesday welcomed Qatar’s call for holding
a mini-Arab summit to discuss ending the dispute between the two rival
The call was issued by Qatar’s emir, Hamad bin
Khalifa al- Thani in a speech he delivered at the Arab summit meeting in
The emir said that the mini-summit would be held in Cairo as soon as
possible with the participation of representatives of the two Palestinian
He said the summit, which would be attended by some Arab
countries, would seek to set a timeline for implementing previous reconciliation
agreements between the two sides.
The meeting would also discuss the
formation of a Palestinian government consisting of independent figures and
holding new presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh welcomed the Qatari
initiative and expressed readiness to work with any Arab or Islamic party
seeking to end the Palestinian power struggle.
Ezat al-Risheq, another
Hamas official, also welcomed the emir’s call, saying his movement was prepared
to attend the proposed summit in Cairo.
PA and Fatah officials said they
too were prepared to resume reconciliation talks with Hamas.
the new Qatari initiative to end Palestinian divisions,” said Yahya Rabah, a
senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip.
Amin Maqboul, a top Fatah
representative in the West Bank, said that what was needed now was the
implementation of previous reconciliation agreements between the two sides. He
said there was no point in holding further discussions on ways of achieving
reconciliation with Hamas, adding that Fatah welcomed the latest Qatari
Also on Tuesday, Qatar proposed the creation of a $1 billion
Arab fund for east Jerusalem residents of Arab origin.
to contribute $250 million to the fund.
“[Jerusalem] is in serious
danger, which requires of us serious action. Palestinian, Arab and Islamic
rights in Jerusalem cannot be compromised. Israel must realize this,” he
He did not elaborate on the precise purpose of the fund and how the
money would be spent.
The PA is in deep financial crisis.
Friday, the United States promised $500m. in aid to the PA, and Israel pledged
to resume transferring $100m. in monthly tax revenue it collects on the
Qatar’s emir did not say if the proposed Arab fund
would be channelled to the PA, whose writ does not run in east
Palestinian officials are sceptical of Arab aid pledges, as
few Arab countries followed through on promises last year to cover a Palestinian
funding gap aggravated by Israeli sanctions.
Last year Arab donations,
including $200m. from Saudi Arabia, constituted almost half the PA’s foreign
aid, with the United States and European Union providing around
“As we’ve have seen many times before, unfortunately decisions in
Arab summits often do not materialize on the ground,” said Ghassan Shaka, a
senior member of the PLO.
“Financing is just a means, political help is
the important thing,” he said. “The Arab world must convince and apply pressure
so the world knows what’s required for peace.”