Abbas calls for inter-reconciliation, but Hamas says his call lacks seriousness

10:49, April 25, 2010      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called on the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) , which rules the Gaza Strip, to accept the inter- reconciliation pact drafted by Egypt in October, while the group's officials in Gaza said Abbas' call lacks seriousness.

"I call on Hamas to think carefully and sign on the reconciliation pact, to get out of this circle of conflicts and feuds on the articles of Egypt's initiative," Abbas said in a speech he addressed at the opening session of his Fatah party's revolutionary council, which held a regular session in Ramallah on Saturday.

Hamas, which is a major rival of Abbas and his Fatah party, seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, following two weeks of heavy clashes in the streets of the blockaded enclave. Hamas routed Abbas security forces and slammed a control on the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) institutions.

Egypt mediated a dialogue between the two sides to end their feuds and the status of division between the Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas and the West Bank, ruled by Abbas and his Fatah party. In October last year, Egypt drafted a pact of reconciliation and presented it before the Palestinian political factions.

Fatah party accepted the Egyptian pact, but Hamas said it has reservations on some articles in the pact, mainly the ones related to security and elections, and it would not sign on it until these reservations are considered.

However, Egypt rejected Hamas request and insisted that Hamas should sign on the pact first and then its reservations would be considered during the implementation of the agreement.

"It is not reasonable not to sign on the reconciliation pact and keep this status of split because of some concerns of reservations on a point here or a point there," said Abbas. He pledged to personally sponsor the dialogue and meet with all factions' leaders "with no exceptions and discuss any issue with them."

Abbas called for the gradual implementation of the Egyptian reconciliation initiative "after signing on it," adding "We have to hold the presidential and legislative elections that lead to establishment of a national unity government that implements the law, respects human rights and restore our interests."

"It is time now to give reconciliation another chance to go with opened hearts and hand in hand towards achieving aspirations of our Palestinian people, who are eager for reconciliation," said Abbas, who accused some regional powers that he did not name "who don't want the reconciliation to be achieved."

However, Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, questioned President Abbas' call for national Palestinian reconciliation. He told Xinhua that Abbas' call "was meant to prepare the atmosphere for resuming the negotiations with Israel and to cover the preparation for these talks."

"Abbas practices on the ground doesn't give any indication that he is serious in achieving a real reconciliation, because the Palestinian reconciliation is not only words and slogans or signing on agreements, reconciliation is carrying out positive practices and measures on the ground," said Abu Zuhri.

Abu Zuhri added that if Abbas "is serious in achieving the reconciliation, the daily campaigns of arrests and trials of Hamas leaders and members in the West Bank must be stopped, especially against Hamas members who were imprisoned in Israeli jails."

"Abbas is selectively dealing with the Egyptian pact of reconciliation. He just wants to hold presidential and legislative elections, but he ignored calling for holding elections for the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which is a basic chapter in the Egyptian paper," said Abu Zuhri.

Meanwhile, Abu Zuhri slammed Abbas' calls on the Israeli and Jewish political powers for dialogue, adding this call is a clear declaration of Abbas to accept getting back to the so-called peace talks with Israel occupant.

"Hamas rejects the resumption of any talks which legalize the occupational crimes against our people, where Abbas will be responsible for these crimes in case he resumes the talks with Israel," said Abu Zuhri.

On Saturday, at his lengthy speech about the stillness of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Abbas ended by calling on Hamas to sign on Egypt's proposal for reconciliation to restore political unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张心意)

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