Palestinian Differences Scuttle Moscow Declaration

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad during a meeting with representatives of Palestinian groups in Moscow (AFP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad during a meeting with representatives of Palestinian groups in Moscow (AFP)
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Palestinian Differences Scuttle Moscow Declaration

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad during a meeting with representatives of Palestinian groups in Moscow (AFP)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shakes hands with Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad during a meeting with representatives of Palestinian groups in Moscow (AFP)

Disagreements between Palestinian factions have hindered the adoption of the “Moscow Declaration” following a failure to agree on its final draft.

Palestinian parties exchanged blame for such failure, but decided to pursue discussions as part of a new call for dialogue that Cairo is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
 
On the third day of the round of talks in Moscow, the situation seemed unclear, as the factions continued heated discussions shortly after the announcement of a "semi-final" draft of the joint statement.
 
Disagreements mainly lied on the wording of some items, as several participants have refused to sign paragraphs underlining that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was the “legitimate and sole representative” of the Palestinians.

The head of Fatah delegation to the meetings, Azzam Al-Ahmad apologized in public to Russia as an organizer of the event.

“We apologize, we could not appreciate friendship well,” he said. He also expressed “regret” over “optimistic positions in our talk with journalists.”
 
Al-Ahmad explained a few differences, pointing out that some of the attendees refused to sign paragraphs confirming the PLO as the "sole and legitimate representative", as well as texts referring to "the Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital."
 
But a Hamas source held Fatah responsible for Wednesday’s failed discussions, noting that the parties had agreed on an acceptable draft of the final statement.

The head of the Hamas delegation, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said Moscow wanted to issue a joint statement that would be a powerful pressure card in the face of Washington’s moves and the "deal of the century," but “time was not in our favor.”
 
Despite the disagreements, Abu Marzouk pointed to many converging points, including the importance of restoring unity, the need to end the siege on Gaza and to confront US plans.



US Military Pier Operations in Gaza Suspended after Piece Breaks Off

US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
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US Military Pier Operations in Gaza Suspended after Piece Breaks Off

US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
US Navy personnel construct a JLOTS, which stands for "Joint Logistics Over-the Shore" temporary pier which will provide a ship-to-shore distribution system to help deliver humanitarian aid into Gaza, in an undated handout picture in the Mediterranean Sea. (US Central Command/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)

A part of the US military's pier off Gaza has broken off, rendering it temporarily inoperable, two US officials said, in the latest blow to efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Palestinians.

The US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said bad weather was believed to be the reason that the part had broken off. They did not say how big the part was or speculate on how long it would take for the pier to resume operations.

The pier was announced by US President Joe Biden in March and involved the military assembling the floating structure off the coast. Estimated to cost $320 million for the first 90 days and involve about 1,000 US service members, it went into operation two weeks ago.

Since the pier began operations, the United Nations has transported 137 trucks of aid from the pier - the equivalent of 900 metric tons - said a UN World Food Program (WFP) spokesperson.