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Fatah Revolutionary Council, Central Committee endorse terms of reconciliation

Oct. 8, 2017 8:18 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 9, 2017 2:20 P.M.)
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah on June 16, 2015 (AFP/Abbas Momani)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Fatah Revolutionary Council and the Central Committee, the two largest bodies in the Palestinian Authority (PA) headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, have reportedly endorsed the terms of national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.

The bodies said that Egyptian-brokered talks between the two political factions, set to be held in Cairo on Tuesday, will be crucial to the success of reconciliation and will lay out practical steps to enable the National Consensus Government to rule both the West Bank and Gaza, according to London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Abbas delivered a speech before the Revolutionary Council and the Central Committee on Sunday and talked about the importance of this reconciliation process, but said that that path to achieving national unity "will require some time," according to a the final communique of the meeting translated by PA-owned Wafa news agency.

He added that only Egypt can have a say in national reconciliation efforts, but did say that Jordan can also play a positive role in this regard.

The president, who is also the Chairman of the Fatah party, said that in order for the National Consensus Government to assume full responsibilities in the Gaza Strip, “there should only be one authority, one weapon, one law, and one political program based on the Palestine Liberation Organization’s agenda, as is the case in the occupied West Bank,” Wafa reported.

He also affirmed that Palestinian leadership will continue to allocate salaries to the families of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces. He described this as a “moral, national, political, and humanitarian obligation,” according to the report.

Abbas added that Hamas’s approval to dissolve its administrative committee that it formed to rule the Gaza Strip, the recent visit of the National Consensus Government to Gaza, and the approval to carry out general elections, “are the right way to achieve national unity, which is indispensable to us, as it is the basis for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders,” Asharq Al-Awsat further quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, in a statement published Sunday in English on Hamas’ official website, Hamas official Salah Bardawil said that his movement is going to participate in any future unity government.

“We have the will to promote the peaceful settlement and have the courage to take the responsibilities brought by the settlement agreement to end the split. We need all people to join in the movement in order to alleviate the sufferings of our people and face Israel’s occupation in unity,” Bardawil said.

He also referred to the issue of Hamas’s insistence on maintaining its military power, an issue that has emerged as the main obstacle that could impede reconciliation, since Abbas had repeatedly said that Hamas must give up its military wing and that he would not consent to the “Hezbollah model” in Lebanon.

Bardawil stressed that his movement seeks to achieve a reconciliation, based on partnership, while reiterating that the issue of Hamas’ arms and its nature as a resistance movement was non-negotiable and would not be part of any agreement.
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