Abbas and Mashaal Call on UN to 'End the Occupation'
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas's exiled leader Khaled Mashaal on Friday urged the United Nations to draw up a "timetable" for “the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories to end,” AFP reports.
The two made the appeal during talks in Doha, as fighting continues in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Qatar's state news agency QNA said.
The two leaders have been holding talks in Doha since Thursday, but little else has filtered out of their meetings which are hosted by the emir of Qatar, a key backer of Hamas.
Their discussions, at the palace of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, came after fighting in Gaza flared anew on Tuesday as Egyptian-brokered truce efforts collapsed.
Talks broke down with Israel insistent on its demand for security from Gaza rocket fire, and Hamas defiant on its call for an end to eight years of Israeli blockade.
QNA said that Abbas and Mashaal discussed Israel's "aggression" on Gaza and underlined "the importance of acting at all levels in order to... lift Israel's blockade of Gaza".
They also agreed to request from the United Nations "a resolution that would define a timetable for the end of Israel's occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state".
The agency said Abbas would undertake the diplomatic steps necessary to seek such a resolution.
Hamas, which drove Abbas loyalists out of Gaza in a bloody coup 2007, joined a national unity government with Abbas’s Fatah faction in June, causing Israel to pull out of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Just this week, it was cleared for publication that the Hamas headquarters in Turkey ordered a large-scale coup of Abbas's new PA government by destabilizing the political and security situation through a series of terror attacks on Israelis.
Abbas later said the information could have lasting implications for the Palestinian Arab people.
The unity government itself has been slowly crumbling over the past two months, after differences of opinion have surfaced over several issues, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to the current conflict.
Nevertheless, according to AFP, during their meeting Abbas and Meshaal stressed that the unity government "represents all the Palestinian people and looks after their interests."
QNA also reported that the Qatari ruler spoke by phone Friday to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to discuss efforts to stop "Israel's aggression on Gaza and the lifting of the blockade".
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)