Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) announced on Wednesday that they would not attend a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah this coming Saturday to discuss Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.
On Tuesday, Palestinian officials said that representatives of the two groups have been invited to attend the meeting. According to the officials, the PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has also been invited to attend the meeting.
However, it was not clear whether the PFLP would participate in the meeting. On Wednesday, the PFLP again called on the Palestinian leadership to implement previous decisions by PLO and Fatah institutions to renounce all agreements with Israel and halt security coordination between the Palestinian security forces and the IDF in the West Bank.
Hamas and PIJ have also called on the Palestinian leadership to cut all ties with Israel in response to the policies and measures taken by the Israeli government and the US administration in the past few years.
Hamas said in a statement that it has not received an official invitation to participate in the meeting. The statement said that Hamas was ready to participate in a “serious meeting that is capable of bringing about the needed change.”
The official Palestinian position towards the Israeli plan is very weak, Hamas added.
Hamas said that it believes that “confronting the Zionist project through a meeting in Ramallah, would be a waste of precious time and a repetition of experiences that have proven unsuccessful.”
Hamas called on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to convene an emergency meeting of leaders of all Palestinian factions to discuss an “effective national strategy” to confront the Israeli plan.
Denouncing the plan as a “dangerous Zionist-American conspiracy,” Hamas expressed confidence that the Palestinians would be able to thwart the plan by agreeing on a comprehensive vision and strategy.”
In a separate statement, PIJ also announced its decision to boycott the planned meeting of the Palestinian leadership. It said that PIJ has received an invitation to attend the meeting, scheduled to take place in Ramallah on Saturday.
“We affirm our support for every constructive and sincere effort to restore unity in order to confront the occupation,” PIJ said. “But we believe that the way to achieve this would be by convening a meeting of the leaders of all Palestinian factions to discuss the challenges to the Palestinian national cause and confront [US President Donald] Trump’s plan [for Mideast peace].”
The group expressed hope that the upcoming meeting would come out with “serious decisions that contribute to restoring unity and confronting annexation and settlements.”