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Jordan’s king endorses Palestinian reconciliation deal

Jordan's King Abdallah II (R) greeting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. (AFP)
AMMAN: Jordan’s king has endorsed a fledgling Palestinian reconciliation agreement that is meant to end a decade-old political and ideological split between rivals Hamas and Fatah.
King Abdallah II expressed support for the Egyptian-brokered deal after meeting Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007, leaving Abbas with autonomous enclaves in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
The palace said that the king “affirmed Jordan’s full support for this agreement” which it said would strengthen Palestinian unity. Jordan, which considers itself a key Mideast mediator, was not directly involved in reconciliation efforts.
Under an emerging deal, an Abbas-led government would run Gaza, but critical issues remain unresolved.
Following the deal, a top aide to US President Donald Trump said on that an emerging Palestinian unity government must recognize Israel and disarm Hamas, Washington’s first detailed response to a landmark reconciliation deal signed last week.
A Hamas official immediately rejected the comments as “blatant interference” in Palestinian affairs, but did not say directly whether the group planned to comply with any of the demands.
Trump’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, who has repeatedly visited the region to seek ways to restart peace talks, laid out a series of conditions.
“Any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the state of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties — including to disarm terrorists — and commit to peaceful negotiations,” Greenblatt said in a statement.
Senior Hamas official Bassem Naim condemned Greenblatt’s statement and accused the US of adopting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s positions.
“This is blatant interference in Palestinian affairs because it is the right of our people to choose its government according to their supreme strategic interests,” said Naim.

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