Abbas: ‘Unity is frozen’

BAGHDAD (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that the reconciliation deal between his Fatah party and Hamas has broken down.

“Unity is frozen,” said Abbas, who is in Baghdad to attend the Arab League summit.

The president said he had agreed “on many points” with Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal during their meeting in Qatar in February.

“We agreed on the vision and objectives and conditions in full,” Abbas said. “I confirm that Mashaal was honest and we were ready (to proceed).”

But some Hamas leaders rejected the agreements reached in Doha, the president said.

“The ball is now in Hamas’ court,” Abbas said, adding that Qatar “knows all the finer details.”

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo last May to end years of rivalry which have split the West Bank and Gaza under rival governments.

They agreed to form a unity government to prepare for elections but the deal stalled as the factions argued over who should lead the joint administration.

Abbas and Mashaal agreed in Doha that the president would take the post of prime minister in the new government, but Hamas leaders in Gaza rejected the decision.

Meanwhile, Abbas said he hoped for political support from regional leaders at the Arab League summit, the first in Iraq for more than two decades.

Palestinians hoped the summit would adopt calls for “emotional, political and financial support” for Palestine and particularly Jerusalem, Abbas said.

The president said he would form a committee to address the situation of Palestinians in Iraq. On Wednesday, Palestinian refugees facing discrimination in Iraq said they had appealed to Abbas for help.

The Iraqi Palestinian Brothers Association said it had sent a letter to the president detailing discrimination Palestinians faced in hospitals, schools and in finding employment in Iraq. Palestinian refugees said they faced “arbitrary detentions and daily raids” by Iraqi forces.

“A committee will be formed to follow up on this case with the Iraqi government. We will begin this immediately after the summit,” Abbas said.

Asked to respond to Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent remarks that Abbas engages in “diplomatic terror,” Abbas dismissed the accusation.

“Is diplomatic activity according to international law in international forums political terrorism?

“This provokes Israel. They don’t want a political solution, they don’t want negotiations or solutions.”

The president declined to comment on Shaul Mofaz’s election on Wednesday as head of Kadima, Israel’s largest opposition party.

“These are Israeli issues,” he said.

Source: Maan News