PA Official: Abbas Supports Reconciliation Talks With Hamas Under Turkish Mediation

In this Wednesday, July 16, 2014, file photo, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas listens to Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby during a meeting in Cairo. A Monday, March 21, 2016 poll, indicates that a majority of Palestinians back near-daily stabbing attacks on Israelis, but that support dropped by nine points …
AP/Amr Nabil

TEL AVIV — Palestinian officials are expected to meet with Turkish representatives in Turkey next week in talks to advance Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and the Hamas terrorist organization, the secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, told Palestinian media.

According to Rajoub, a summit between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will take place on August 28 and focus on the Palestinians’ internal situation. “And we hope it has a positive effect that will lead to an end of the Palestinian division,” said Rajoub.

The Palestinian official said that at a recent global forum for young Muslims in Turkey, “One of the Turkish president’s advisers suggested to convene a Turkish-Palestinian summit in Ankara out of Turkish desire to reach Palestinian reconciliation, especially in light of the good relations between Turkey and Hamas.”

Rajoub said that his meeting with the Turkish official “focused on the need for Hamas to stop any sign of rule in the Gaza Strip and to allow the Palestinian Authority government to fulfill its role in the Strip ahead of the creation of a Palestinian national unity government and the setting of a date for general elections in the territories.”

“On this basis, the delegation of Fatah’s central committee arrives for a visit in Turkey to prepare the Turkish-Palestinian summit,” added Rajoub.

Meanwhile, the international Saudi newspaper Al-Hayat cited Palestinian sources as saying that Abbas is angry the American government is pressuring him to cease his actions against Hamas. As part of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to pressure Hamas to give up control of the Strip, Abbas decided to stop paying PA employees in Gaza, who stopped working when Hamas took over in 2007.

The PA also stopped paying the Israeli Electric Corporation for the electricity it provides the Gaza Strip, among other steps. The paper reported that the Americans are concerned Abbas’ steps will lead to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, leading them to pressure him to end the measures, angering Abbas.


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