Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hamas official: Abbas due to visit Gaza after Palestinians form unity government


Following announcement that rival Palestinian factions reached accord to reconcile within 5 weeks, advisor to Hamas PM says PA president expected to make first trip to Strip since terror group took control of it in 2007.

reconciliation agreement
Hamas and Fatah leaders hold their hands after announcing a reconciliation agreement Photo: REUTERS

Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to visit the Hamas-run Gaza Strip if a unity government is formed between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported an official in the coastal enclave as saying on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah announced that they had reached an agreement to end their differences and form a Palestinian unity government within five weeks.

According to the report, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's advisor Issam al-Daalees told the Arabic daily newspaper al-Rai that the move would be expected of Abbas if the rival Palestinian factions reconcile.
It would be Abbas's first visit to Gaza since the Hamas takeover of the Strip in 2007.
Previous reconciliation agreements between the two rival parties have never been implemented.
Soon after the Palestinians announced the pact, Israel called off a US-brokered meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening with Palestinian negotiators to look for ways to extend the negotiations past the April 29 deadline.
In light of the reconciliation announcement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dismissed Abbas as a partner for peace with Israel.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] needs to choose between peace with Israel and an accord with Hamas,” he said.
"Anyone who chooses Hamas does not want peace," the premier charged.
Abbas meanwhile responded by saying that the unity pact did not contradict talks with Israel, and that a Palestinian state living alongside Israel remained his aim.
But in Washington, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US was “disappointed” by the move.
“The timing was troubling,” she said of the unity pact, “and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement. Absent a clear commitment to those principle outlined, this could seriously complicate our efforts, and the efforts between the parties, to extend the negotiations.”

Comment: Life consists of choices-the PA has chosen terror and violence-let the world community understand!

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