Gaza, Asharq al-Awsat- representatives of the Egyptian Intelligence Agency and circles within the Fatah Movement have informed Palestinian faction leaders that President Mahmud Abbas, alias Abu-Mazin, does not intend on holding elections on 24 January next year, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.
Palestinian sources quoted representatives of the Egyptian Intelligence Agency and Fatah Movement circles as saying that, by issuing a presidential decree to hold elections on that date, Abu-Mazin meant to pressure the Hamas Movement to accept the Egyptian reconciliation paper without amendment. The sources added that Abu-Mazin does not intend on holding elections in the West Bank alone.
The same sources quoted Fatah Movement Central Committee member Muhammad Dahlan as saying that Abbas does not intend on holding elections in January at all.
According to the sources, circles within the Fatah Movement pressed Abbas not to seriously consider holding elections, especially in light of the official Palestinian stand that was exposed after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dropped a bombshell during her latest tour of the region. She announced that a freeze on the settlement activity is no longer a condition to resume negotiations with Israel.
On a separate note, sources in the Hamas Movement told Asharq Al-Awsat that independent Palestinian parties recently worked out formulas for a compromise between Hamas and the Egyptian Government regarding the movement’s stand on the Egyptian reconciliation paper, which the movement refuses to sign in its current form. The sources explained that one of these formulas provides for attaching an appendix to the Egyptian paper, containing the Hamas and other Palestinian factions’ reservations.
The sources said that the points of disagreement between Hamas and the Egyptians are far less than what statements by some of the movement’s representatives indicated. At the same time, the Islamic Jihad demands that the national constants be included in the reconciliation paper. These constants may be included in any appendix to the reconciliation paper, the sources noted.
The sources added that the declared negative US and Israeli stands toward the Egyptian efforts caused concerns among the movement’s leaders. These concerns prompted them to call for including in the paper guarantees not to oblige any new Palestinian government to comply with the Quadripartite Committee’s conditions. The committee’s conditions include recognition of Israel, renunciation of resistance as terrorism, and adherence to the PLO’s agreements with Israel.
The sources noted that Egypt’s absolute rejection of a sheer dialogue on the content of the paper and Cairo’s refusal to receive a delegation from the movement to discuss this issue prompted the two sides to stick to their positions that are difficult to be given up.