Sunday, May 29, 2011

Eight Palestinian Organizations Refuse to Join Hamas-Fatah Unity Accord

Palestinian factions refuse to join Fatah-Hamas "monopoly government"

DAMASCUS, May 22 (Xinhua) -- A total of eight Palestinian factions have announced their rejection to participate in the upcoming Palestinian government.

The factions which are members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) said in a joint statement issued Saturday that the two major factions Fatah and Hamas "unilaterally monopolized" the formation of the government.

The eight leftist-wing factions will not nominate candidates for the technocratic government proposed in a unity deal signed in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, according to the statement.

The factions said that they support the efforts toward unity but hope the deal will take their views into consideration.

"Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine rejects the bilateral monopoly by Fatah and Hamas over the unity government intended to end years of fractured politics in the occupied Palestinian territories," Damascus- based Nayef Hawatma, secretary general of the DFLP told Xinhua by phone.

Hawatma said the eight factions would hold no responsibility toward a Palestinian government formed by Fatah and Hamas only.

"Fatah and Hamas have not been commited to what 13 Palestinian factions agreed on in the Egyptian capital on May 4," he said.

The Palestinian leader called all Palestinian parties to " jointly work" to carry out the agreement inked recently in Cairo.

The factions that rejected to join the new government are the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian People's Party, the Palestinian Democratic Union, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, Palestinian Liberation Front, the Arab Liberation Front, and the Palestinian Arab Front.

Leaders of 13 Palestinian factions, including Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Islamic Hamas movement's politburo Khaled Meshaal, inked the reconciliation agreement in Cairo early this month.

The deal is expectedly to put an end to 18-month-long bitter dispute between the two major Palestinian parties, and pave the way for forming an interim government, settling security arrangements and staging elections within a year.

Abu Ahmad Fuad, the Damascus-based politburo member of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), told Xinhua that his faction "has been rejecting to participate in any Palestinian government based on the agreements signed with the Israeli occupation."

"We have announced our stance in Cairo talks among all Palestinian parties earlier this month," Fuad said.

Fatah which rules the West bank and its rival Hamas that controls Gaza Strip had held several rounds of talks during the past few months in Damascus, however, the two sides failed to reach a reconciliation deal.

Ties between Hamas and Fatah led by Abbas soured after Hamas won the last parliamentary elections in 2006 and routed Abbas' forces in 2007 to seize control of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the Palestinian National Authority must choose either peace with Hamas or peace with Israel.

Netanyahu has recently rejected U.S. President Barack Obama's vision of an Israeli-Palestinian peace and a future Palestinian state based on the borders that existed prior to the June 1967 war, which he outlined on Thursday.

"Israel can not return to those borders because they are indefensible," he said on Thursday during his visit to the United States.

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