PA sets conditions for Hamas

Ahead of reconciliation talks between PA and Hamas, Abbas asserts: There will be no Palestinian state until Hamas gives up its weapons.

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Nitzan Keidar,

Abbas
Abbas
Reuters

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian media that he will not be satisfied with a reconciliation scenario between the PA and Hamas in which Hamas’ military arm is able to possess weapons in Gaza.

He spoke hours before a joint meeting between PA and Hamas leaders is to take place - the first meeting of its kind after several years of rift between the two factions.

Abbas also placed additional conditions on Hamas during the interview. “All control needs to be in the hands of the PA. I am not ready to accept a reality like that which Hezbollah dictated in Lebanon - the organizations in Gaza need to relinquish their weapons - we want to be one state, with one governing body, with one law, and one military body.”

He added that failure to meet these conditions would prevent the possibility of the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Abbas asserted that reconciliation between the two parties was far from being realized because of Hamas’ refusal to give up its weapons, as Hamas expressed outrage at Abbas’ statement whereby “if we catch a weapon on a Hamas member, we will imprison him, just as is done with Fatah members who do not hold an official security position.”

A senior Hamas member, Mousa Abu Marzook, has said in recent days that the dismantling of Hamas’ military arm is not up for discussion.

It is of note that all previous attempts at reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have failed definitively, mainly due to lack of agreement on the establishment of one central governing body.