Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Revolutionary Council, Fatah Welcome Palestinian Reconciliation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses reporters after a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium, February 9, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The Revolutionary Council and the Fatah Central Committee, the two largest bodies in the Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, have endorsed the terms of Palestinian reconciliation and supported its steps.

They stressed that the meeting, which is going to be held in Cairo Tuesday will be crucial to its success, considering that it will discuss the practical and detailed steps to enable the Government of National Reconciliation to govern.

President Abbas delivered a speech before the two bodies and talked about the importance of this reconciliation process.

However, he sounded cautious, recalling previous experiences that failed.

“National reconciliation is a top priority that we seek to achieve by all possible means in order to protect the Palestinian national project and meet aspirations of our people to have their freedom and independence,” Abbas said.

“Since the beginning of the division, we have sought, in cooperation with the Arab League and the brothers in Egypt, to end it by peaceful means. We have signed several agreements, the most important of which are the Cairo Agreement of 2011 and the Beach Refugee Camp agreement.”

Abbas added that Hamas’s approval to dissolve the administrative committee that it has formed in Gaza Strip, the visit of the national unity government to the strip and the approval to carry out general elections, “are the right way to achieve national unity, which is indispensable to us, as it is the basis for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.”

Abbas tackled other issues such as the captives, Jerusalem and the political file as he briefed the members on the US moves in this regard.

He talked about the 1917 Balfour Declaration in its 100-year anniversary, and he denounced what Britain announced its support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”-as a “crime against our people.”

He also slammed the United Kingdom for having launched the process that led to the creation of the State of Israel in the first place.

In a common matter, Hamas official Salah Bardawil said that his movement is going to participate in any future unity government.

“We have the will to promote the peaceful settlement and have the courage to take the responsibilities brought by the settlement agreement to end the split. We need all people to join in the movement in order to alleviate the sufferings of our people and face Israel’s occupation in unity,” said Bardawil.

He also referred to the issue of Hamas’s insistence on maintaining its military power, which is one of the obstacles that might impede reconciliation since the Palestinian president insists on the existence of one weapon and one regime and does not agree with the Hezbollah model in Lebanon.

Bardawil stressed that his movement seeks to achieve a reconciliation, based on partnership while the issue of the resistance arms was not mentioned by any party to be discussed.