Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

'Senior official': 'No point' to Olmert - Abu Mazen talks

This is from a Jerusalem Post story on today's meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert and 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen in Olmert's Succa.
A senior official said just as Olmert was beginning his meeting with Abbas that if Arab reports claiming Abbas had agreed to renew talks with Hamas were true, there was no point in continuing negotiations.

The Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem issued a statement saying Israel's stance regarding Hamas was "known and unequivocal." The statement further emphasized that the government rejects any attempts by the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Hamas and added that all Israeli officials traveling abroad are instructed to ask of their foreign counterparts to step up pressure on Abbas against making any effort to bridge the gap with the extremist Muslim Hamas movement.
And this is what the London Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat reported today:
According to the report, a Palestinian source told the newspaper that Egypt's efforts to mediate between the two movements have succeeded and have yielded an agreement in principle to hold secret talks in Cairo.

Last weekend, Abbas said in an interview with Newsweek that he was against Hamas and now identifies with the American stance. He also said that he would not reunite in a government with Hamas under any circumstances "because it was a very bad experience."

Asked about his conditions for talks with Hamas, Abbas replied that the two groups would talk only after the situation in the Gaza Strip returns to its original state.

According to the Palestinian source who spoke to al-Sharq al-Awsat, however, Abbas informed Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who is in charge of the mediation efforts, of his agreement in principle to launch a secret dialogue with Hamas representatives.

The source added that Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah faction in the Palestinian parliament, will head the movement's delegation to the talks, although a date for the start of the dialogue has yet to be set.

According to the report, General Suleiman asked both movements to provide him with their "vision" for a solution to the crisis before setting a date to start the talks. The Egyptian suggestion for solving the dispute will be presented to the representatives when the meetings begin.


According to the report, Suleiman has been holding direct talks with members of Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, headed by the organization's politburo chief Khaled Mashaal, in addition to the ongoing talks with Abbas and Fatah leaders in the territories and elsewhere.

The report added that Mustafa Othman Ismail, the Sudanese president's foreign affairs advisor, recently contacted Abbas and Mashaal and offered to mediate between the two, but went back on his offer after learning that Egypt was already leading the mediation efforts.

Different sources from both movements told the newspaper that "unplanned meetings" had already been held between representatives of the two movements in Beirut following meetings held by the Palestinian factions three weeks ago.

According to the reports, Abbas' former national security advisor Jibril Rajoub met with Muhammad Nazzal, a member of Hamas' political bureau in a bid to solve the crisis, but the meeting failed to bring the movements closer.
Sounds like Part 6 of the sulha watch is just around the corner.

I have reached the point where I don't understand why the Israeli government is willing to negotiate with Fatah and not with Hamas. Both want to wipe out the State of Israel and exterminate its Jews - but Hamas wants to do it immediately while Fatah wants to do it in phases. Most of the terror attacks over the past few years have come from Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (and Palestinian Islamic Jihad) rather than Hamas anyway. I'm not saying we should negotiate with Hamas - I'm just wondering why the government is negotiating with Fatah and making such a big deal over Fatah negotiating with Hamas. It looks like "six of one, half a dozen of the other" to me.


At 4:51 PM, Blogger AS said...

As an American trying to grapple with this story makes my head spin.


Post a Comment

<< Home