Abbas and Hamas Leader Meet, Want to Work Together

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Thursday with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal with what they called a “positive” atmosphere in talks linked to reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah party, according to the WAFA Palestinian news agency. Israel has expressed concern over a unity deal between the West Bank-based Fatah and the Hamas terror group, which was signed in May but has yet to be implemented.

In comments to reporters in Cairo after the meeting, Abbas was quoted by WAFA as saying, “We discussed all details about reconciliation and would like to tell you that there are no differences between us at all on any of the issues. You will see all of this in the coming days and weeks.”

The two sides have been divided since a 2007 bloody coup by Hamas that effectively knocked Fatah out of Gaza. Hamas has yet to recognize Israel or renounce terrorism, and the Gaza terror group has yet to be accepted by the United States and others due it’s stance. Fatah leaders have placed preconditions on resuming peace talks with Israel, which has repeatedly called for the resumption of direct negotiations.

Said Abbas, “We discussed cheap valium uk everything, particularly political developments facing the Palestinian cause in all its details. We want very much to work as partners and we have a joint responsibility toward our people and cause.”

Meshaal, meanwhile, said that with the meeting the sides have “opened a new page” in seriousness about implementing the reconciliation deal. His comments implicitly addressed lingering doubts that their positive language will have practical results, as the touted agreement in May has yet to be implemented.

Israel Opposed

The same day as the Palestinian press conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon Abbas not to reconcile with Hamas. In comments posted on the Prime Minister’s Office website, Netanyahu linked the move with “unilateral steps.” Presumably that includes the Palestinian’s United Nations recognition efforts.

Said Netanyahu, “I hope the Palestinians choose to move away from the prospective union with the Hamas—to move away from unilateral steps.

“To the extent they’ll do that and go back to the only route that can produce peace, which is direct negotiations without preconditions—to that extent, I think peace will be advanced and this will serve the interests of Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

(By Staff,, November 25, 2011)