Islamic Jihad Preparing to Join PLO
Ramadan Salah, leader of the Gaza-based terror organization Islamic Jihad, declared to the Arabic paper Al-Hayat on Tuesday that his group "is prepared to join the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) on a new political and organizational basis."
The PLO has achieved international recognition as the representative of the "Palestinian people" since the 1993 Oslo Accords. The Palestinian Authority (PA) was established by the PLO to govern Arab residents living under the group's auspices.
Salah's statement confirms Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's comments last Friday, when he said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would be integrated in the PLO's leadership and take part in elections for PLO institutions.
Such a change in the institutional organization of the PLO is a result of the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas, which is expected to the formation of a unity government next week.
The Islamic Jihad leader noted that negotiations between the sides so far concerning the PLO reformation have not yet addressed national topics, hinting at a change in the PLO's platform to embrace armed struggle instead of talks as the only way to "free Palestine."
Salah warned that the gaps between the sides on this topic threaten to collapse the reconciliation deal.
Islamic Jihad does not intend to join in elections for the parliament or presidency, said Salah, because those institutions were a product of the Oslo Accords that his organization strongly rejects.