Hamas leader vows to end inter-Palestinian rift soon
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-14 16:52:17   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts         

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar speaks to supporters during a Hamas celebration after Israeli troops pulled out of the Gaza Strip March 3, 2008.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar speaks to supporters during a Hamas celebration after Israeli troops pulled out of the Gaza Strip March 3, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    GAZA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Mahmoud al-Zahar, a top leader of the Islamic Hamas movement, vowed on Saturday that his movement eagerly wants to end the internal Palestinian rift as immediate as possible.

    Al-Zahar told al-Arabiya Saudi Arabian TV that the coming two days would witness a conclusion of all the outstanding issues between the rival Fatah and Hamas movements under the Egyptian mediation.

    On Tuesday, 80 representatives of 13 different Palestinian factions, including the two big Palestinian movements of Fatah and Hamas, began peace talks to end the rift and agree on forming a Palestinian unity government.

    However, reports coming from Cairo quoted some officials as saying Friday that the rivals have failed to overcome obstacles in reconciliation talks which they hope will lead to a unified governing body for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

    During the talks, Fatah has insisted that Hamas must abide by existing peace agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with Israel, but Hamas has refused to make such a commitment.

    Hamas proposed using the word "respect" instead of "abide", but this falls short of satisfying the conditions set by the United States, Israel and other Western countries.

    "Hamas exerts its utmost effort to end the peevish rift which has divided the Palestinian family and destroyed the Palestinian society," said al-Zahar, adding that the five dialogue committees had achieved some progress.

    He continued saying that "there are some issues like the elections, the security and the formation of a government need more intensive discussions and answers of several questions in order to overcome our differences."

    Al-Zahar insisted that any upcoming Palestinian government "has to be transitional, doesn't carry any electoral platform and its mission has to be for preparing for legislative and presidential elections and reconstructing Gaza."

    "We began with the easy issues, and we had agreed on most of them. We transferred the controversial issues to the highest steering committee of the dialogue to resolve them," said al-Zahar.

    Meanwhile, senior Fatah movement leader Nablil Shaath had said earlier that the factions' delegations would leave Cairo on Saturday, adding that the highest steering committee of the dialogue would remain in Cairo until March 23. 

Editor: Fang Yang
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