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Hamas Leader Ready to Meet Abbas to Confront ‘Deal of the Century’

Hamas Leader Ready to Meet Abbas to Confront ‘Deal of the Century’

Sunday, 28 April, 2019 - 08:30
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City. (Reuters)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said he was ready to hold a quick meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in order to restore national unity to confront the “deal of the century” US peace proposal.

During a national conference on countering the proposal, he said that if required, he is ready to hold meetings with the Fatah leadership, headed by Abbas.

“In Gaza... or Cairo... or anywhere. We are ready,” he stressed.

“Hamas has no veto on any meeting that would ensure unity and end the division in order to provide elements of perseverance and confrontation against the deal of the century,” Haniyeh explained.

“Reconciliation and unity are urgent demands... We don’t want an alternative to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO),” he added.

Haniyeh’s remarks on the PLO were in response to previous accusations by its officials against Hamas.

PLO officials had previously said that the movement was seeking to form an alternative to the organization. It had called on all Palestinian factions to boycott a supreme body that Hamas has been trying to form on the pretext of confronting the deal of the century.

Earlier this week, Hamas announced it would be forming a supreme national committee to confront the yet undisclosed US peace plan. The council would include national, regional, and international players.

“We are working to confront the deal of the century and we want to achieve real national unity that respects all the Palestinians,” Hamas politburo member Salah al-Bardaweel said Tuesday.

In his remarks, Haniyeh insisted that in order to reject and confront the deal, Palestinians must reach consensus on “the vision of a national strategy.”

The strategy will call for quitting the Oslo Accords, restoring national unity through specific steps and launching popular movements throughout Palestinian territories to reiterate their rejection of the proposal. It also calls for bolstering support and contacts with the entire world to stand against this suspicious deal, he explained.

“The people are determined to protect the Palestinian cause against all dangers and challenges, especially the deal of the century, no matter the costs and sacrifices,” he stressed.

However, Haniyeh’s call was met with skepticism by the Fatah leadership.

A Fatah official said Abbas does not need an invitation from anyone because he was the first to confront the deal and the only one who has been standing against it until this day.

“If Hamas wanted to counter the deal, it must implement the reconciliation agreement immediately and without delay,” the official told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that the movement was helping in fulfilling the US deal through its prolonging of Palestinian division.

Washington is expected to announce its controversial peace deal after the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which ends in June.

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