The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will send a delegation to the Gaza Strip within days to meet with Hamas officials and discuss the current division, which will set the stage for President Mahmoud Abbas’ upcoming visit, according to Palestinian officials.
Secretary-general of PLO's Executive Committee Saeb Erekat said that the Fatah delegation will head to Gaza next week to meet with Hamas officials followed by the President’s visit.
Earlier, Abbas received a call from the head of Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, and invited him to a meeting to find ways into confronting the deal of the century.
Abbas promised Haniyeh to visit Gaza, explaining that all factions are at risk, and called upon all Palestinians to put their differences aside.
Haniyeh rejected the deal of the century, which he said aims at terminating the Palestinian national project.
Haniyeh met with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
This is the first time that Abbas has expressed his willingness to visit Gaza since Hamas took control of it in 2007. In 2014, Abbas sent a delegation to Gaza, and two days later it announced an agreement to form a unity government, but failed to unify the Palestinian homeland.
These are the first direct meetings in two years between the factions, after Fatah rejected any new talks regarding reconciliation, demanding Hamas hand over the sector according to the 2017 agreement, which was rejected by Hamas.
Hamas wants to implement the 2011 agreement because it calls for a unity government tasked with holding elections months after its formation. But, Fatah sticks to the 2017 agreement which forces Hamas to hand over the control of Gaza, including security, crossings, tax, the judiciary, and the land authority.
Over the past few years, Fatah and Hamas have exchanged accusations over the government's sanctions on the Gaza Strip and peace talks with Israel. But the two sides are now looking for a new and different phase.
Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that the unified Palestinian position behind Abbas’ rejection of the deal of the century is a message to Israel and the US that the Palestinian people are united under their leadership to thwart this deal that will not pass and will fail, just as all previous conspiracies have failed.
Abu Rudeineh told reporters that all the Palestinian factions participated in the leadership meeting and affirmed their support to Abbas. He said there will be an expanded meeting of the Palestinian factions in Gaza next week to strengthen national unity and confront the US-Israeli deal.
Member of Fatah’s Central Committee Hussein al-Sheikh said that Abbas decided to send a delegation to the Strip to consolidate unity against the US conspiracy.
Hamas welcomed all members arriving in Gaza, and Haniyeh asserted that the movement rejects any agreement or deal that does not grant Palestinians all their rights.
Haniyeh addressed Abbas saying that all Palestinians must work together and agree on a strategy that ends division.