Barghouti and Dahlan slam Abbas for capitulating

Prominent Fatah figures criticize Abbas for entering into peace talks unconditionally under international pressure.

Barghouti smiles 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Barghouti smiles 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
As the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were launched on Wednesday, two of Fatah’s prominent figures have come out against the talks, criticizing PA President Mahmoud Abbas for abandoning his preconditions for entering into negotiations.
Jailed Fatah operative Marwan Barghouti said that the talks were doomed to fail and called on the PA leadership to focus on ending the power struggle with Hamas.
Barghouti was quoted by Reuters as saying that he supported the talks in principle, but was worried because the Palestinians went to Washington under international pressure.
Barghouti said that Abbas was forced to go to the talks because of pressure from the Americans, Europeans and some Arab countries, and not because he believes in the efficiency of the negotiations.
Barghouti also pointed out that Abbas did not have enough backing from the Palestinian population to hold direct talks with Israel.
“The talks won’t achieve any results without popular support,” he said. “The alternative to the talks should be national reconciliation and popular resistance against the occupation.”
Former Fatah security commander Muhammad Dahlan also criticized the PA leadership for going to the talks unconditionally. He said that Abbas also made a mistake by agreeing to go to the talks before receiving assurances from the US administration.
Dahlan said that the Palestinians only received “verbal assurances” from Washington.
He added that under such conditions, the talks would not produce any positive results.
Dahlan accused the US administration of abandoning its role as mediator and becoming “managers of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s PR campaign.”
Dahlan also expressed disappointment with some Arab countries for putting pressure on the PA leaders to move from indirect to direct talks with Israel.
“In Fatah, we believe that going to the talks in this way won’t lead to any positive results,” he said. “All that Abbas can do now is say no to any issue that contradicts the national interests of the Palestinians.”