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Abbas’ Party to Seek Ties with Iran?

Senior Fatah leader wants closer ties with Iran.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/2/2013, 6:29 PM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Senior Fatah member Jabril Rajoub has suggested that Fatah seek closer ties with Iran, according to Iran’s IRNA news agency.

Rajoub made his statements in a meeting with Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon. He expressed hope that with Iran’s help, Arabs would succeed in “freeing our land.”

Also present was Ashraf Dabour, the PA ambassador to Lebanon.

The three spoke about the attempts at reconciliation within the PA. Fatah and the Hamas terrorist movement remain at odds despite repeated attempts to resume joint leadership of the PA, as they did prior to the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.

Last week PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced that he would begin a round of talks with the goal of creating a new united PA government. Abbas called for all PA factions to take part in the talks.

The announcement sparked fresh tension with Hamas, which complained that its leaders had not been informed of Abbas’ plans. Hamas leaders in Gaza argued that the group would not be able to hold elections due to PA activity against Hamas in Judea and Samaria.

Abbas has given a similar explanation regarding his refusal to hold new PA elections for the past several years despite the expiration of his term.

Rajoub previously served as the head of the PA’s Preventative Security Force. As a young man he spent 15 years in prison in Israel for terrorist activity, until he was freed in a hostage exchange.

In late 2012 he called for armed resistance against Israel. However, in February 2013 he told Israeli government radio that the PA will not initiate a new “Intifada” terror war.