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Abbas Intervenes to Save Reconciliation Ahead of Cairo Meeting

Abbas Intervenes to Save Reconciliation Ahead of Cairo Meeting

Thursday, 16 November, 2017 - 12:00
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah waves upon his arrival with his government ministers to Gaza Strip October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas intervened to stop repeated statements described as offensive by Palestinian officials, regarding the internal reconciliation with Hamas, in a move aimed at easing tension ahead of the Cairo meeting later this month.

In line with Abbas’ instructions, the Fatah Central Committee has decided to limit its statements to the members of the committee in charge with holding dialogue with Hamas, in order to maintain efforts towards restoring national unity and achieving reconciliation.

Palestinian officials have linked the success of reconciliation to Fatah’s deploying its control over the Gaza Strip, while demanding the disarmament of Hamas and rejecting any security quota. Those demands were fully rejected by Hamas, whose officials went to attack the current Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah.

Member of Hamas political bureau, Salah al-Bardawil, said on Wednesday that his party did not wish Hamdallah to assume any future Palestinian government.

“Dissolving the government of national reconciliation and forming a much stronger unity cabinet has become an important demand for all factions and even for a large group of the Fatah movement,” Bardawil stated.

Speaking to a local media station, the Hamas official also said: “Even after the reconciliation, [the government] did not provide any new solution to the citizens’ problem; but on the contrary, every day it issues negative statements with indifference to the suffering of people in the Gaza Strip.”

There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian government on Bardawil’s remarks. But well-informed sources in Fatah said his statements reflected only his personal views.

“The formation of a unity government will not necessarily take place. This is a decision to be made by the president,” the sources said.

The Fatah Central Committee, for its part, expressed in a statement its hope for the success of the next round of meeting in Cairo on November 21.

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