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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Reconciliation’

Hamas-PLO Qatar Reconciliation Talks End Early on ‘Negative’ Note

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

If you were concerned that Hamas and the PLO would be uniting to present an even bigger threat to Israel’s security, you can breathe easy this weekend, as reconciliation talks between the two groups in Doha, Qatar, on Saturday ended on a sour note, with Hamas blaming the PLO for the failure, Ma’an reported.

Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that PLO officials did not complete the day’s scheduled meetings and withdrew during the second session. He blamed the PLO leadership entirely for “failing” Saturday’s meeting, because they had no “political will to achieve reconciliation.”

PLO Spokesman Usama al-Qawasmi said his delegation had headed to Doha resolved to end division and forge partnership and democracy on the way to forming a national unity government.

A previous national unity government had collapsed recently, having proven to be one only in name.

Al-Qawasmi insisted the Doha meetings have shown that Hamas is “not ready yet for national unity and political partnership.” He stressed that the PLO would continue its efforts to end division between the two groups, and continue “calling upon Hamas to head towards real national unity.”

The current round of talks between the PLO and Hamas — third so far — began on Wednesday in the Qatari capital with a focus on strategies for implementing a reconciliation agreement. In March, the two groups also held reconciliation talks in Doha, with both delegations also discussing implementations of a reconciliation agreement.

The two groups have been on the outs with each other since their violent conflict in 2007, shortly after Hamas’s 2006 victory in the general elections in the Gaza Strip. Since then the two groups have repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation, and neither side has held democratic elections.

Both sides enjoy visiting Qatar, though.


No Palestinian Authority Unity with Hamas This Week

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The much-anticipated Palestinian Authority unity government is not happening – at least this week.

Sources within the PA say the announcement, which was to take place today (Thursday) is likely to be delayed, according to Israeli government-controlled public radio.

Ramallah-based Fatah spokesperson Jamal al-Mahsan reported there is disagreement among representatives from the Gaza-based Hamas terrorist group and Fatah officials regarding the appointments for ministries in the hoped-for unity government.

Similar difficulties were encountered in exactly the same way during previous attempts to “reconcile” the two factions. All resulted in failure to reach agreement on a resolution, and no unity government has been established since Hamas ousted Fatah from Gaza and seized control of the region in 2007.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Unity, Palestinian style

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

So much for Palestinian “unity.”

As expected, the recent Palestinian Authority “unity” deal has done little to curb internecine fighting amongst Palestinian Authority Arabs: A Palestinian website reported Sunday that political arrests continue unabated in both Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

According to PA-run Ma’an News Service, Fatah-linked security forces have continued detaining Hamas suspects around Judea and Samaria, while Hamas forces in Gaza have done the same to local residents there suspected of membership in Abu Mazen’s faction.

The website said that although the pace of detentions has slowed, there are few signs of political freedom in either jurisdiction: Since the agreement was signed, the Palestinian Authority leadership has taken some small steps to allow Hamas to come out of hiding in Judea and Samaria: After the agreement was signed, Fatah unbanned a Hamas newspaper, Falesteen, for the first time since 2007. And Hamas banners and protesters have openly taken part in some demonstrations, mainly in Qalqilia.

In addition, Fatah has refused to serve the consular needs of Gaza residents since the Hamas takeover in 2007. For example, current regulations call for Gaza residents to apply for passports via the government in Ramallah. But P.A. officials have refused to fulfil those requests. There is no indication that that policy has changed over the past month.

In general, Palestinian Authority forces continue to fear a Gaza-style Hamas take over in Judea and Samaria. Some Israeli security officials brushed off Palestinian threats to break security ties in response to the deaths of two Palestinian rioters on “nakba” day, the Palestinians’ annual commemoration of the “disaster” of Israel’s founding. The security officials say there is little chance that Abu Mazen would order the Palestinian Authority security apparatus to stop cooperating with IDF and Shabak security officials, for a simple reason: Israel’s presence in Palestinian-majority areas of Judea and Samaria are the only reason Hamas hasn’t routed Fatah there.

To prevent this, security forces loyal to Abu Mazen have continued arresting Hamas operatives on a near-daily basis, particularly in Hebron and Tulkarem.

In Gaza, too, Hamas forces have slowed their detentions of Fatah activists, and have moved to make life easier for Fatah loyalists. But Khalil Abu Shamala, secretary of the Freedoms Committee in the Gaza Strip, told Ma’an that Hamas continues to “summons” Fatah members on a regular basis, albeit less frequently than before the reconciliation agreement was signed.

The Freedoms Committee was set up to help implement the political reunification process. The Committee has made several recommendations, including streamlining passport applications for Gaza residents by opening a  branch of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of the Interior in Gaza.

Currently, Gaza residents must apply for passports through the mail to Ramallah, a process which causes substantial burden. Few Gaza residents have received passports since Hamas’ violent takeover of the Strip seven years ago.

Khalil Assaf, a member of the Freedoms Committee in the West Bank, warned Ma’an that the campaigns of arrests “strained the reconciliation atmosphere” in the Fatah-led region.

As of this writing, however, there is no indication that political freedom is on the agenda for either of the major Palestinian factions.

Avi Tuchmayer

European Jews Ask EU Not to Recognize PA Unity Gov’t

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor has called on the European Union to ignore the upcoming Palestinian Authority unity government.

Speaking at an executive EJC meeting in Jerusalem with top Israeli government officials, Dr. Kantor pointed out that EU leaders had yet to condemn the agreement signed Wednesday between the Fatah and Hamas factions.

“The Europeans have yet to condemn the signing of this unity agreement,” Kantor said. “We hear immediate condemnation every time some houses are built over the Green Line, but Brussels is silent on the Palestinian Authority’s new alliance with Hamas, a group whose charter openly aspires to the genocide of world Jewry.

“The Palestinians ignored their obligations and unilaterally applied to UN organizations, threatened to disband the PA and have now chosen to deal with the manufacturers of terror rather than the purveyors of peace,” he said. “It is perhaps time for the European Union to finally realize that they were applying pressure on the wrong side,” he added.

Dr. Kantor noted that European Jews are constantly hearing that Israel’s relations with Europe are “contingent on the peace process.” He commented that Europe should be able to “separate its excellent trade, economic relations and scientific and hi-tech cooperation with Israel from the conflict.”

The EJC delegation included members of Jewish communities from the UK, France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, and Greece, among others.

Hana Levi Julian

America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The U.S. has finally tossed in the towel on trying to force the Palestinian Authority to come to the table to talk with Israel.

After months of shuttle diplomacy and countless attempts by U.S. leaders to shepherd the “peace process” along, the entire effort proved a waste of time and money.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials announced they had cut a deal for Fatah faction leader and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas – who heads all three entities — to form a new unity government with the Hamas terror organization that rules Gaza.

Hamas has never recognized the State of Israel, and has stated that it never intends to. It is committed to the destruction of the Jewish State, in fact.

“It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist,” pointed out State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki in a briefing Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is convening the inner diplomacy security cabinet this morning (Thursday) to discuss the current situation and decide whether to continue any contact whatsoever with the Palestinian Authority.

Mr. Netanyahu told Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call Wednesday evening that the PA-Hamas deal “shows the Palestinians are back to repeating their familiar pattern of running away from decisions.”

The pattern is indeed not new: Chairman Abbas has done this before – and the last time he reached a “reconciliation” with Hamas, he managed to sucker in not only the United States, but also the European Union and Israel. All three rushed in a panicky jumble to bribe him back to the “peaceful path” by promising him millions of dollars in funding, if only he would vow not to hook up with Hamas.

In the end, the unity government fell through because Hamas backed out – the Ramallah-based PA government won their millions – and everyone was that much richer, except for the Israelis who lost their lives at the hands of the terrorists who were freed in “good will gestures” forced on them by their U.S. friends.

The PA government in Ramallah used the money to quietly raise the salaries of terrorist prisoners sitting in Israeli jails and funnel more money to civil service employees working in Hamas-ruled Gaza offices.

The PA also won an extra bonus – it received considerable military equipment, weapons and training from the United States, Jordan and the EU — with which a number of its “police officers” have since murdered Israeli citizens in terror attacks.

Hana Levi Julian

Maariv: Iran Said ‘No’ to Obama’s Plea for Reconciliation

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A few months after he had been elected, President Barack Obama attempted to renew on a gradual basis U.S. diplomatic relations with Iran, a process that was to lead to establishing embassies and full diplomatic relations. But the Islamic Republic rejected the proposal out of fear for the future of the reign of the Ayatollahs, the Israeli daily Maariv reported on Sunday. The paper claims to have received this information from two Western diplomatic sources close to the Administration.

The American offer was part of an inclusive change of approach to U.S. foreign relations instituted by Obama upon his entry into the White House. The plan was focused on emphasizing negotiations and extending a “diplomatic hand.” Shortly after being elected, the new president announced that he intended to extended his hand to Iran. An announcement of the White House declared that Obama supports “an aggressive and direct diplomacy with Iran, without preconditions.” This was a 180 degree change of the Bush Administration’s approach to Iran. The new Administration was hoping that a rapprochement with Iran would help establish a mutual understanding with Iran regarding its nuclear plan.

At the initial stage, the Americans offered the Iranians the opening of government interests offices—the lowest level of diplomatic relations—in Tehran and Washington. Later on, the Administration was hoping to enter a track of detailed agreements.

Relations between the United States and Iran were severed in 1979, at the conclusion of the Islamic revolution and the ascent of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

According to Maariv, at least two direct meetings were conducted between U.S. and Iran officials starting in the summer of 2009.

Under Secretary of State William Burns and the Iranian head of the negotiations team Saeed Jalili participated in at least one of the two meetings. The two met following the six powers’ meeting with Iran in October of 2009, in Geneva. That direct meeting lasted about an hour. According to an Israeli source close to the negotiations, the Islamic Republic was leery of any sign of normalizing relations with the U.S., and refused to give the Americans “an award.” Iran’s main concern was that the Ayatollah’s regime would be weakened as a consequence of American involvement in Iranian society.

The Administration so far has denied a NY Times report on a new attempt to open a channel of communication with Iran. The White House statement on October 20 read:

It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. The President has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure.

Jewish Press Staff

PA-Hamas unity deadlocked

Friday, November 25th, 2011

Despite PA President Abbas’s claim of no differences anymore between Hamas and Fatah following a reconciliation meeting this week, it appears that Abbas overstated his position. The PA and Hamas face a deadlock as they haven’t agreed on the makeup of the new unity government, without which elections are impossible. Abbas is still demanding that Salam Fayyad remain prime minister, while Hamas is insisting that Fayyad goes.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-hamas-unity-deadlocked/2011/11/25/

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