Abbas to Hamas: Reconcile

PA chief again calls on Hamas to sign Egyptian-brokered document that would lead to elections.

Gil Ronen, | updated: 18:47

PA Chairman Abbas
PA Chairman Abbas
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas issued a renewed call to the Hamas terror group to sign an Egyptian-mediated reconciliation document. The proposed agreement would allow elections to take place in the PA, which is currently split between the Fatah-controlled area in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas-controlled area of Gaza.

The document was signed by Fatah in 2009 but Hamas demands that certain changes be made, while Egypt and Fatah refuse.

"I hope that Hamas signs the Egyptian document so that we are able to move towards the organization of elections," Abbas said after meeting Romanian President Traian Basescu in Bucharest Monday. Abbas is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday in Egypt.

The United States and Israel oppose a reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, which would fly in the face of their basic assumption that while Hamas is a terror group, Fatah is not. Israel conducts negotiations with Fatah despite the fact that its members have carried out attacks killing hundreds of Israeli civilians in the past decade alone. These attacks often intentionally targeted small children.

Ever since allowing the Fatah movement into Judea, Samaria and Gaza following the 1993 Oslo accords, Israeli governments have insisted that the group has turned into a legitimate political movement and renounced terror. The U.S. includes a subgroup of Fatah, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, in its list of terror organizations – but not Fatah itself.

When negotiations between Fatah and Hamas seemed to be bearing fruit, in October, the U.S. reportedly sent a message to Egypt stating that the proposed reconciliation agreement would undermine negotiations with Israel.

George Mitchell, the U.S. envoy to the Middle East, told Egyptian officials that the U.S. expects any P.A. government to follow the conditions of the Quartet (the U.S., Russia, the U.N. And the EU), which include recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of earlier agreements and the renouncing of terrorism.




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