Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Fatah-Hamas meeting to focus on unified Palestinian vision | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Nimr Hammad, the Palestinian president’s political adviser, has asserted that President Mahmud Abbas will focus at next week’s meeting with Hamas chief Khalid Mishal on the need to have a unified political program for the next government for the sake of communicating effectively with the world and so as to have a unified Palestinian vision for dealing with the world and with political issues.

Hammad believes that the division and different political stands between Hamas and Fatah and the absence of a unified vision toward the strategic issues serve Israel.

The president’s political adviser told Asharq Al-Awsat, “For example, when Hamas criticizes the principle of the two-state solution this serves the Israeli position which uses what Hamas says as an excuse and asserts there is no Palestinian partner. The United States used the division, different views, and the existence of two governments with different policies in Gaza and the West Bank as an excuse and said how we can accept a state of Palestine as a full UN member when the Palestinian Authority {PA] does not control all the Palestinian territories.”

He added that the Hamas delegation should come to the meeting with a political vision of the political dossier and what it says about the state, negotiations, resistance, and the way to use it. “We want to form a government that has a political program. The socialist parties in Europe called for destroying capitalism when they were in opposition but changed their convictions for national reasons when they came to power.” Hammad said.

On the Fatah movement’s insistence on Salam Fayyad, President Abbas’s political adviser said: that, “We do not care about the persons as much as care about the program. If we agree with Hamas on a clearly defined political program then that person will not be important, whether it is Salam Fayyad or anyone else. The program that is implemented is most important.” He added that “Azzam al-Ahmad who held meetings in Cairo with Hamas officials to pave the way for this meeting asserted to us that the Hamas movement has much understanding about forming the government and national action strategy in the next stage but we will wait and see the results of the meeting.”

Hammad went on to say that President Abbas would meet Mishal in Cairo on 24 November to discuss the means of implementing the reconciliation agreement that was signed under Egyptian sponsorship on 4 May, the general situations in the Palestinian arena, the future of the Palestinian cause, the presidential and legislative elections, the PLO status, the PA’s future, the blocked peace process, the nature of the resistance, the challenges facing the Palestinian cause and national plan. He added that the reconciliation agreement stipulated holding elections no later than 4 May next year and President Abbas is ready to hold them before then, such as in January or February. He said the elections in which Hamas won were held during Abbas’s presidency and he has pledged that the next ones will be held in transparency and before international observes and its results will be respected whatever they are.

On his part, Izzat al-Rishq, member of Hamas’s political bureau, stressed that the option of peaceful settlement with the Israeli enemy has failed and reached dead end while the resistance option has proved its usefulness and resistance in all its forms should be the Palestinian people’s slogan in the next stage. Al-Rishq, who is in Syria, has told Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone: We have reservations about Salam Fayyad and are hoping to agree on a government that has national consensus. He added: “The movement is eager to ensure the success of Khalid Mishal’s meeting with President Mahmud Abbas. We are hoping it will be a decisive one that establishes an important stage for our Palestinian people, especially in light of the blocked prospects of peaceful settlement that has reached a dead end because of the US stand that is totally biased toward Israel and its intransigent stand at the UN and UNESCO.”

Al-Rishq went on to say that all this confirms us that we have an intractable situation. The Israeli enemy and his arrogant government want to impose their conditions. The US administration is impotent, biased, and hostage to the Israeli stand and cannot be relied upon. This confirms the famous Arab proverb “only your nails can scratch your skin.” The Palestinian people must therefore examine their national options for getting their national rights relying on themselves, their unity, and their will after the will of God Almighty. He added that the Abbas-Mishal meeting would be held in positive atmospheres and comes several months after the signing of the reconciliation agreement that has ¬ been implemented so far on the ground because of the problem of forming the government and the insistence on naming Salam Fayyad to head the next one even though he does not have national consensus and Hamas objects to him. Yet despite all this, the signing of the agreement cast positive atmospheres and this paves the way for the upcoming meeting to achieve a real step in the reconciliation dossier.