Islamic Jihad: Abbas thwarted reconciliation

Senior Islamic Jihad member accuses PA chairman of thwarting efforts to reach reconciliation due to his caving to "Zionist plots".

Dalit Halevi ,

Islamic Jihad terrorists
Islamic Jihad terrorists

Nasser Abu Sharif, a representative of the Islamic Jihad in Iran, on Thursday accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, of thwarting the Palestinian reconciliation initiative, especially in light of the PA's caving to “Zionist and American plots” and to pressures exerted on it by regional elements.

In an interview with the Hamas daily Al-Risala, Abu Sharif said that Hamas and the Palestinian resistance organizations had shown a serious approach to the reconciliation talks, but the PA was still under the influence of the regional elements and was working to thwart the reconciliation.

He accused Abbas of taking over Palestinian decision-making and called on him to hold elections that would enable the Palestinian people to express their will and choose the leadership that would represent it.

Abu Sharif said that the PLO’s authority has come to an end and that this situation will remain true until the organization is reformed.

He also stressed that the Palestinian people will never give up their weapons and would not agree that Abbas even discuss disarming groups such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

Representatives of the Palestinian Arab factions, including Hamas and Fatah, met this week in Cairo. The talks ended in an agreement to hold new elections by the end of 2018. If held, the new elections would be the first in the Palestinian Authority (PA) in over a decade.

However, Hamas later expressed disappointment over the latest round of talks, accusing Fatah of backing down from commitments it made in previous summits.

The PA assumed control of Gaza’s border crossings following an agreement signed with Hamas in October, but there are still disagreements, particularly over the fate of Hamas's armed wing.

Abbas has demanded that the armed militias in Gaza disarm as part of the implementation of the agreement – a demand which has been rejected.