Palestinian leadership’s call fails to overcome divisions

A demonstrator holding a Palestinian flag stands in front of Israeli forces during a protest against Israeli settlements and the U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, in Jordan Valley in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 25, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 15 May 2020

Palestinian leadership’s call fails to overcome divisions

  • A Fatah spokesman, Hussein Hamayel, said that the positions of Hamas and PIJ were unjustified, and that they should stand with the leadership in the face of the imminent danger facing the Palestinians

GAZA CITY: In an effort to unite Palestinians against the Israeli annexation plans in the West Bank the Palestinian leadership has called on all factions to hold an emergency meeting to discuss an action plan on Saturday in Ramallah.

It sent invitations to Hamas, Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other Palestinian groups to attend the meeting to formulate the strategy to respond to Israeli plans.

Hamas and PIJ have refused to participate, saying the meeting would be a formality and would not produce any influential decisions, while the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) decided to participate, despite its tense relationship with President Mahmoud Abbas.

Justifying its position, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said: “The repeat of facing the liquidation project with the same tools is wasting the energies of our people and is an additional encouragement to the occupation.”

Haniyeh, who has not returned to Gaza since his departure on a foreign tour a few months ago, said Hamas appreciates any serious Palestinian step to confront Israeli plans, but not with meetings that are content with media coverage and with no strategies that the people could accept.

A senior PIJ official, Ahmed al-Mudallal took the same line: “It is not possible to confront American-backed Israeli crimes except with serious steps towards real Palestinian unity that preserves the national project and restores the state of comprehensive and popular confrontation to the Zionist enemy, especially in the West Bank, to make the occupation costly.”

Haniyeh called for ”comprehensive popular resistance” in the West Bank and Gaza to confront the “deal of the century.”

Al-Mudallal called on the Palestinian authority to cancel its recognition of Israel, the Oslo accords and the rest of the agreements signed with Israel to inaugurate what he called “a new and unified Palestinian struggle period.”

The PFLP, contrary to the position it has been taking close to Hamas in recent years, has officially announced its participation in the Ramallah meeting.

"Our participation stems from the responsibility of the National Front to confront a plan to annex large areas of West Bank, which aims to complete the colonial project for the entire Palestinian land," said Maher Mezher, a member of PFLP Central Committee.

At the meeting the PFLP will demand to set up committees to discuss their response.

Mezher told Arab News that PFLP will also demand the withdrawal of recognition of Israel, the implementation of the decisions of the National and Central Councils to end the Oslo Agreement and the consequent political, security and economic obligations.

A Fatah spokesman, Hussein Hamayel, said that the positions of Hamas and PIJ were unjustified, and that they should stand with the leadership in the face of the imminent danger facing the Palestinians.

He accused Hamas of trying to “create weak arguments to justify its positions towards the Palestinian leadership.”

“The meeting is important and is expected to result in strong and historic decisions in the face of the annexation projects. Hamas and PIJ’s apology means their adherence to division and weakening the Palestinian position,” Hamayel said.

In his speech to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba, President Abbas threatened to withdraw from the agreements with Israel, “We will reconsider our attitude on all agreements and understandings, whether with the occupying state or with the US itself, and we will be free of all those agreements and understandings if the Israeli government has announced the annexation of any part of our occupied lands.”

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