Abbas meets Mashaal in Cairo 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Al Hams/Handout)
Islamic Jihad said Sunday that it would support a Palestinian consensus on strategies of resistance against Israel only as long as they do not become substitutes for violence, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an. "The
armed resistance is Hamas's unchangeable and uncompromisable program,
and Hamas will remain adherent to the resistance of all forms including
the armed one," stated Ezzat Al-Resheq, member of Hamas's political bureau. "It is the legitimate right of our people and all peoples
The comments were made in reference to an understanding reached by Hamas and Fatah on the importance of popular resistance. According to an official Hamas press release Saturday, the Gaza-based organization recognizes the legitimacy of secondary forms of resistance, which have become more common in the West Bank, but stressed that violence must remain a primary tool against Israel.
Fatah-Hamas reconciliation hits more bumps
Jerusalem wary as Abbas moves closer to Hamas
The statement comes after Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas, head of Fatah, met in Cairo Thursday to spur implementation of a unity
deal between the two largest political parties.
The meeting was not as successful as was portrayed, a senior Fatah official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post
over the weekend. “The most important thing was that the two leaders met and agreed to continue talking about reconciliation and unity. It will take a long time before we ever see real changes on the ground.”
The parties were set to join other Palestinian factions in December to
move forward with a national program. The Fatah-led government in the
West Bank has championed popular resistance strategies including marches
and boycotts, while Hamas and other factions maintain that violence is still
In an interview with Ma'an, Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan
said Sunday that the exact date for the cross-factional meeting had yet
to be set, as the Hamas delegation to the Cairo talks had not yet
returned to Gaza
Radwan added that it is the Palestinian factions who must decide on the
ways to challenge Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands, but in the
end "all aspects of resistance are open and permissible and open to us."Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.