Little progress in Palestinian reconciliation efforts

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speak during an event in Gaza City. (File photo/AP)
Updated 04 January 2018
0

Little progress in Palestinian reconciliation efforts

GAZA CITY: Palestinian reconciliation talks have made little progress, with Hamas insisting that the Palestinian Authority (PA) pay its employees’ salaries in the Gaza Strip, and the PA determined to exercise full governance of the territory.
“President Mahmoud Abbas is determined to achieve Palestinian reconciliation with Hamas, despite the obstacles to the empowerment of the national reconciliation government,” said Azzam Al-Ahmad, a member of the central committee of Abbas’ Fatah party.
“When we finish with the empowerment of the government in Gaza, we’ll start with other files. We won’t take another step until we conclude the preceding step.”
Hamas-appointed employees reject the return of those from the PA — who worked in Palestinian ministries before Hamas’ takeover of Gaza in 2007 — until they are paid their salaries in accordance with the reconciliation deal.
The administrative committee formed after the agreement met on Tuesday in Gaza City to discuss the issue of salaries.
“The problem facing reconciliation is the obligations of the PA and its agreements that call for the renunciation of resistance and weapons,” said Saleh Aruri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau.
Jamal Muhaisin, a member of Fatah’s central committee, said the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “is an important reason for reconciliation to continue and progress toward success.”
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said a recent round of talks was obstructed by Fatah, “which refuses to lift the punitive measures imposed by the government … on the Gaza Strip.”
Meanwhile, Israel’s Parliament passed its first reading a bill allowing the execution of Palestinians involved in “terrorist” attacks.
“This decision is contrary to international law and the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation by all means,” Muhaisin told Arab News.
“In the climate of our popular resistance, any talk about executions today amounts to playing with fire.”


Libya confirms it rescued 87 migrants in Mediterranean

Updated 45 min 13 sec ago
0

Libya confirms it rescued 87 migrants in Mediterranean

  • Friday’s statement from the navy says the Libyan coast guards found a sinking rubber boat whose bottom had collapsed on Thursday
  • It says the migrants — Arab and African nationals — were handed over to Libyan police after receiving humanitarian and medical aid

CAIRO: Libya’s navy has confirmed it rescued 87 Europe-bound migrants, including six women and a child, off the country’s Mediterranean coast, following a video released by a German aid group about the disaster.
Friday’s statement from the navy says the Libyan coast guards found a sinking rubber boat whose bottom had collapsed on Thursday, leaving most migrants in the water and hanging onto what was left of the boat and plastic barrels.
It says the migrants — Arab and African nationals — were handed over to Libyan police after receiving humanitarian and medical aid.
Earlier, German group Sea-Watch said its aircraft had filmed three rescue operations by Libyan coast guards on Thursday.
Humanitarian groups object to returning migrants to lawless Libya, citing reports of abuse, beatings and other inhuman treatment.