Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Musa Abu-Marzuq, the vice chairman of Hamas’s Political Bureau and head of its delegation currently present in Cairo, has stated that the Palestinian national dialogue, to be held in Cairo, will not be based on the Yemeni or any other previous initiative but will originate from the collective Palestinian vision that will take shape at the Palestinian organizations’ meeting in the Egyptian capital.
He said “the brothers in Egypt have sent invitations to all the factions which took part in the 2005 Cairo meeting. Hamas received the invitation a few days ago, which includes a question to the Palestinian factions to specify their views of the agendas on whose bases the dialogue will be held.”
In statements made to Asharq al-Awsat, Abu-Marzuq expected the Palestinian organizations to start arriving in Egypt next week and for all the factions to meet together after Id al-Fatr once Egypt has sought their opinions and drafted them in a unified paper that will be the basis for the dialogue.
He added that the paper would be discussed in detail at a meeting with Omar Suleiman, the director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, and other officials.
On the Arab League’s participation in the dialogue, the Hamas leader told Asharq Al-Awsat, “In my view, the Arab League will not take part in the dialogue and if it does take part, it will be in the declaration of the agreement procedure.”
Abu-Marzuq rejected the idea of sending Arab forces to the Gaza Strip to train the Palestinian security forces, saying, “We welcome the presence of Arab forces in the West Bank to liberate it from the occupation. Gaza does not need however Arab forces but Palestinian understandings and reconciliation.” He denied reports that Hamas has demanded to withdraw the prisoners’ dossier from Egypt and said, “Reports that this dossier will be withdrawn from Egypt are inaccurate. Hamas is still sticking to its stand and the dossier is in the Egyptian officials’ hands. We are greatly confident that they are handling this sensitive dossier sincerely and seriously.”
He pointed out that dozens of Arab, Islamic, and foreign countries, for example Turkey and Senegal, had asked Hamas to mediate in the issue but the movement told them that the dossier was in Egypt’s hand and added, “We are determined that Egypt should continue out of appreciation for its big role and weight in the region.”
Regarding the Hamas delegation’s talks with Egyptian officials about a prisoners’ swap deal and whether there were any proposals to bring the two sides’ closer together, Abu-Marzuq told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We will not talk about this issue and its details. We will not talk about it in the media so that we can get our prisoners out of the occupation’s jails.”
He refused to comment on a recent report by Israeli newspaper “Ha’aretz” that President Mahmud Abbas (Abu-Mazin) had threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority if the detained Hamas deputies were released, saying, “We will not rely on the Israeli newspapers in our comments. But there is a precedent which raises a question mark about this issue. President Abbas recently asked Israel not to include the name of struggler Marwan al-Barghuthi in the prisoners’ swap deal with Gil’ad Shalitbut to release him in a separate operation. But Marwan al-Barghuthi insisted on being part of the deal. There is in this issue an indication of the political use of the Legislative Council and resumption of its work after the release of the Hamas prisoners since we will have the decisive majority in the Council.” He called on the Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing and deal with its repercussions away from the political disagreements with the Authority in Ramallah or issues of dispute with Israel, such as soldier Shalit’s case, and pointed out that “continuation of the situation as it is and waiting for the agreement of the Authority, Israelis, and Europeans will keep and complicate the problems.”
Regarding the calm efforts, Abu-Marzuq said “the calm, Egyptian mediation, and measures taken to prevent the Israeli violations are grateful Egyptian efforts but the result or outcome is that the Palestinian people do not have a real feeling that the calm has had a positive impact on their general situation in the Strip, not only because of Israel’s noncompliance with the quantity and type of goods and services entering the Strip but also because of its noncompliance with the way to do it.”
On the investigations of the recent explosions being carried out by the dismissed government of Ismail Haniyeh, Abu-Marzuq said, “it is too early to announce the final stand, especially as the Interior Ministry is carrying out a scrupulous and detailed investigation of those behind these explosions. We will announce it to the Palestinian public once we have irrefutable evidence and the defendants will be brought to justice so that the law can take its course.”
On his part, Jamal Abu-Hashim, member of Hamas’s Political Bureau and member of its delegation in Cairo, said the accusation that Fatah was responsible for the explosions immediately they happened did not come out of the blue and added: “Pro-Fatah factions claimed responsibility for these explosions in statements and through the Palestine radios and television. We found explosives of the same type used in these operations in Fatah centers and houses in addition to suspecting the Jund al-Islam faction after discovering evidence of this.” He said that the investigation outcome would be announced to the public backed with confessions so that it knows who were behind these explosions that aimed at undermining stability and security in Gaza.