Independent figures hold contacts to resolve Palestinian crisis

13:58, October 25, 2009      

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Independent Palestinian figures held on Saturday intensive contacts to defuse tension between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided to hold the elections on Jan. 24.

On Friday evening, Abbas issued a presidential decree deciding that general presidential and legislative elections will be held in the Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem on Jan. 24 next year.

He said earlier on Saturday that the decision to hold the election on its constitutional date was made after Hamas movement escaped from signing an Egyptian-drafted pact for inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

Yasser el-Waddeya, chief of independent figures in the Palestinian inter-dialogue said in a statement sent to reporters that the door for inter-reconciliation has not been shut down yet, adding the Egyptian mediator is exerting efforts to achieve it.

He called on the two sides, Islamic Hamas movement and President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party, to stop the mutual media incitement, adding that the efforts to bridge the gaps and achieve reconciliation have not stopped yet.

"We are holding intensive contacts with leaders from Gaza and the West Bank to contain the crisis and prevent deeper split among the Palestinian brothers," said el-Waddeya.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Front to Liberate Palestine (DFLP) called on the Palestinian factions to get back as immediately as possible to the table of dialogue and end the current feuds and disputes.

The group accused both Hamas and Abbas' Fatah party for blocking the dialogue and bringing the reconciliation to a deadlock, adding that any upcoming dialogue should be multilateral and not bilateral between them.

Hamas denied Abbas's earlier statements on Saturday which accused the Islamic movement that it escapes from reaching a reconciliation deal and is receiving instructions from external powers not to sign on it.

Ismail Radwan, a Gaza-based Hamas leader, told Xinhua that Hamas has been always looking for achieving reconciliation and ending the split more than two years ago, adding "the one who always escaped was Abbas."

"Abbas is the one who always escaped from reaching a reconciliation deal and ending the current rift, and he is the one who is receiving orders from America and Israel not to reach reconciliation with Hamas," said Radwan.

Hamas seized full control of the coastal Gaza Strip by force in June 2007 after routed Abbas's security forces, while Abbas and his Fatah party kept their control of the West Bank.

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