Ahmadinejad to meet Palestinian leaders

Talks meant to resolve Hamas-Fatah crisis; Mashaal to join, along with Jihad, DFLP, Fatah heads.

ahmadinejad mashaal 298. (photo credit: AP [file])
ahmadinejad mashaal 298.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to meet with Palestinian faction leaders in Teheran on Thursday, in an attempt to resolve the crisis between Fatah and Hamas, the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Khaleej reported on Wednesday. Participants in the meeting are to include Damascus-based Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine head Nayef Hawatmeh, and Ahmed Jibril, the boss of the Syrian-backed Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. In addition, senior Fatah leader-in-exile Farouk Kadoumi, an adversary of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, will join talks, the report said. Kadoumi met with Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, according to Iran's Mehr news agency. The Iranian leader praised the Palestinian organizations for staying true to the path of "armed struggle," the report said. "The Palestinian problem is still a gaping wound for the entire Islamic world and nations of the region," Ahmadinejad said. "The only way to treat it is through the resistance of the Palestinian nation, along with faith, unity and an unwavering stance." He said no one could defeat the Arabs of Palestine, and promised that the world's superpowers were headed for destruction. Meanwhile, Teheran has broken ground on a new $3.2 million Jewish cultural and sports center. The report on Press TV said Iranian Housing and Urban Development Minister Muhammad Saidi-Kia and Morris Motamed, the Jewish community's representative in Parliament, started Tuesday on the 1,000-square-meter complex. "The followers of divine religions live under a single flag in Iran and enjoy the freedom the constitution has granted them," Saidi-Kia said. The center is expected to open in two and a half years. The report pointed out that Iran's Jewish population is "the second largest in the Middle East after Israel."