A meeting of Palestinian factional leaders in Egypt concluded without any agreements on either a Palestinian national unity plan or a unified stance on resistance to Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called divisions between his own Fatah party and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror organization a second "Nakba" or catastrophe.
“The coup that took place in 2007, and the abhorrent division it inflicted on us, our cause, and our people, is a new catastrophe, and it must be ended immediately and without any hesitation or delay,” Abbas stated.
The Fatah party, led by Abbas, is the largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and he called on Hamas to recognize the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
“We must work to end the division and restore matters to their proper place, within the framework of one state, one system, one law, one legitimate weapon, and one government,” the PA leader said at the summit.
Without providing specifics, Abbas said he intends to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in the near future, as long as Israel allows Arabs in East Jerusalem to vote in the elections.
Abbas also called on the different factions to endorse a “peaceful popular resistance” against Israel, a stance which Hamas rejects.
“We have practiced different forms of struggle at different stages, and we see today that peaceful popular resistance, at this stage, is the best way to continue our struggle and achieve our national goals,” Abbas said. “Our choice of this method of national struggle is not a random choice, but rather a thoughtful one based on historical data and experiences.”
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh, on the other hand, called for “endorsing the option of comprehensive resistance and strengthening the steadfastness of the Palestinians and their struggle, against the crimes of the occupation and settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”
Haniyeh called for ending “all forms of security coordination with the occupation,” as well as ending PA arrests of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad members in Judea and Samaria, internationally known as the West Bank.
The Hamas leader also called on the Palestinian factions to take advantage of Israel’s “unprecedented internal conflict.”
“We are at a window of opportunity that we must take advantage of since the occupation is suffering from an unprecedented internal conflict, the tension in its foreign relations, and its lack of ability to break our nation's will and escalating fight,” Haniyeh said.
Along with armed conflict, the Hamas leader called for Palestinians to “launch a widespread political, media, diplomatic campaign to isolate and condemn the occupation and the actions of its extremist government and its settlers.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.