Abbas to Hamas: Don’t give up on reconciliation

PA president calls Hamas PM, urging him to implement agreements reached between factions; Haniyeh: "There will be no return backward."

PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh 311 (R) (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)
PA President Abbas with Hamas PM Haniyeh 311 (R)
(photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday phoned Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and urged him to preserve the climate of reconciliation between the two sides, according to a statement released by Hamas.
Abbas stressed during the phone conversation the importance of activating the agreements that were reached in Cairo recently between Fatah and Hamas, the statement said.
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Earlier this week, Hamas and Fatah representatives who met in the Egyptian capital announced that they had reached an agreement on a number of sticking points, including the release of prisoners and granting Palestinian passports to residents of the Gaza Strip.
Abbas pointed out that the Cairo discussions were held in a positive atmosphere and stressed his keenness to move forward with the reconciliation pact between Hamas and Fatah, the Hamas statement said. It added that Abbas also offered his greetings to the Hamas leader on the beginning of Ramadan.
With regards to the reconciliation accord, Abbas was quoted as saying: “We want to work together on this issue.”
Haniyeh, for his part, was quoted as telling Abbas that he too was keen on preserving the positive climate of reconciliation between the two parties.
“There will be no return backward,” Haniyeh said. “We support accelerating the process of implementing the reconciliation.”
Samira Halaika, a Hamas legislator, said on Thursday that Palestinians in the West Bank were frustrated with the failure of Hamas and Fatah to implement the reconciliation accord that was announced in Cairo in early May.
Halaika said Palestinians in the West Bank were facing instability and insecurity because of the continued arrest campaign by the PA security forces against Hamas supporters.
“Residents of the West Bank don’t see any difference between the period that preceded the reconciliation and the period afterwards,” she said.
She also noted that PA security forces earlier this week arrested a number of young men who went to pray in a mosque in Hebron.
In another case, PA security forces summoned for interrogation several Palestinians who came to greet a Hamas activist who was released from Israeli prison. PA security officers also raided the home of the released prisoner, Ashraf Daraghmeh, in the Jenin area, and confiscated documents and posters, his relatives said.