Hawatmeh pushes for Hamas-Fatah talks

DFLP leader claims he and the PFLP have proposed ten-point mediation plan to rival Palestinian factions.

Hawatmeh 298.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Hawatmeh 298.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The leader of a radical Palestinian group said Sunday that his faction and another hardline faction are trying to mediate between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and Hamas. Nayef Hawatmeh, Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told the Associated Press in an interview that he was mediating along with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He added that the two Damascus-based groups have proposed a ten-point mediation plan to bring Fatah and Hamas to the negotiating table. The plan calls on Hamas to restore Gaza to how it was before its militants took over from Fatah by force in June. It also says Fatah and Hamas should end media "incitement campaigns" and stop arrests to prepare the ground for talks. It calls for new presidential and parliamentary elections and for an investigation into clashes between the two groups. Hawatmeh said the plan was submitted to Hamas and Fatah officials last month and that the DFLP and PFLP were still waiting for a response. In July, Israel agreed to a request by President Abbas to allow Hawatmeh to enter the West Bank for a meeting of a top Palestine Liberation Organization policy-making body, a step that Abbas hoped will provide him added legitimacy among Palestinians. Hawatmeh then decided not to attend the meeting saying he rejects Israeli conditions.