|Hopes for PA unity deal in Mecca|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 05 February 2007 17:00|
|Link from my friend James... |
A senior source in Palestinian President's Fatah party has revealed their are hopes that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas will sign a deal in Mecca tomorrow that will end weeks of bloodshed and establish a Palestinian unity government. The Gaza Strip has been engulfed in violence between the two Palestinian terrorist organizations, since the break down of talks last December. Fatah and Hamas have brokered several ceasefires but each deal has been broken, resulting in the deaths of dozens of people.
Quote: "Regarding the political platform of the unity government, Hamas will allow the PA chairman to hold negotiations with Israel with no strings attached. Hamas went as far as to stress that the government's policy will be independent of the policies of the movement. The government will in practice recognize the previous agreements with Israel - which was one of the three preconditions set by the Quartet in return for recognition of the Palestinian government - even though it will not include the statement "will abide by the accords" in its mandate.
So in reality nothing much will have changed. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh will keep his job. It isn't clear whether Israel would work with such a government - still headed by Hamas, but I am inclined to think that they probably will, accepting it as the best deal possible under the circumstances. President Abbas said last year that Fatah recognizes Israel's existence, as Palestinian officials must work with Israeli officials on a daily basis in the administration of Gaza, but he said his party still did not recognize Israel's right to exist. In the same way, Hamas may "in practice" recognize previous agreements with Israel, but that doesn't mean to say they like those agreements.
Quote: "In a televised address from Damascus on Sunday Mashaal said, "It is forbidden to fail (in the Mecca talks)," Mashaal said. "I call on all our brothers ... to restrain themselves and to remember our real battle is with Israel."