Abbas and Mashaal: Commitment hailed a new era of ‘partnership’

Khaled Meshal, left, the leader of Hamas, and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, who leads the Fatah movement, met Thursday in Cairo to discuss a unity government.(Credit: Reuters)

While many of us were celebrating Thanksgiving yesterday Abbas and Mashaal met in Cairo, the first public follow up since their reconciliation in order to form a unity government.

Jerusalem Post:

“There are no differences between us at all, and we agreed to work as partners and share responsibilities,” Abbas told reporters after the meeting. “We share the same responsibility toward our people and cause.”

Ma’an News

Exiled Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal said Friday that Israeli threats after reconciliation talks with Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas “would not scare us but rather assure us that reconciliation is the right track for the Palestinian people.”

……….

The reconciliation deal, which set out a path to a unity government of technocrats and elections within a year, had stalled over continuing disagreement, in particular over the candidate to head the new cabinet. Abbas supported the current premier in Ramallah Salam Fayyad, who was rejected by Hamas.

On Friday, Mashaal said it was still too early to discuss Hamas’ nomination of a prime minister, after the meeting with Abbas that both insisted ended remaining disagreements between them.

……

Abbas and Mashaal on Thursday approved a two-page document reiterating their commitment to the main elements of the original deal, and hailed a new era of “partnership.”

Meanwhile it’s mostly gloom and doom over @ NYT

“Rival Palestinian Leaders Meet but Fail to End Rift”

 Isabel Kershner and Fares Akram framed the disagreements, via anonymous officials, as  “rosy” public statements hiding a “deadlocked” albeit admitting the leaders didn’t address the “deadlock” over who would lead the interim government.

Neither of the leaders directly addressed the deadlock over the appointment of a unity government……….

[D]ifferences between the sides clearly prevailed, and since the signing of the accord disincentives for further cooperation have mounted……….

Sounds like neither side discussed candidates at this round of talks.

 Israel and the West say they will not deal with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the Islamic group recognizes Israel, renounces violence and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Hamas has shown no sign of agreeing to those conditions, and the prospect of a unity government threatens the Palestinian Authority’s relations with Israel, Europe and the United States.

….

Mr. Barhoum said that the two sides agreed to some confidence-building measures, like stopping politically motivated arrests, and that they had also reached understandings on a political program defining relations between Israel and the Palestinians and the shape of a future Palestinian state. He did not elaborate on the content of those understandings.

Reached understandings on a political program defining relations between Israel and the Palestinians and the shape of a future Palestinian state ? Really. That sounds promising. This is probably driving Netanyahu nuts. No wonder it sounds like someone’s got their knickers in a twist. Back to Jerusalem Post:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said following the meeting that “the closer Abbas gets to Hamas, the further away he gets from peace.”

To the extent that Abbas moves away from Hamas and to direct negotiations with Israel, he said, “peace will be advanced, and this will serve the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians.”

…..

Regarding the $100 million of Palestinian tax revenue that Israel has refused to release to the PA since the Palestinians were accepted as a member of UNESCO earlier this month, the officials said that no decision had been taken to free the money.

Over the past week, Israel has come under intense diplomatic pressure from around the world to release the funds. “One thing is clear,” the officials said. “Had Abbas signed a unity government agreement with Hamas, there would be no chance whatsoever that the money would continue to flow.”

I hear deadlock, but today, it’s not between Fatah and Hamas.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government

{ 22 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. annie says:

    i like this photo.

    ;)

  2. annie says:

    Mashaal said it was still too early to discuss Hamas’ nomination of a prime minister

    speaking of nominations, what about Khalid Mashaal?

    • tokyobk says:

      Lousy Hamas with its lousy police state.

      The words of a rabid Zionist?

      No, of the “Angry Arab” who unlike Western liberals has no need or interest in romanticising and who obviously realizes that doing so for points against Israel ( which he detests) is not in the interest of the Palestinians under their rule.

      You can call yourself whatever you want but imo if you are sympathetic to Hamas you can be a tireless advocate of the Palestinians but not a “Human rights activist.” Hamas calls for the very opposite when it shoots missiles towards civilians and when it closes down movie theaters because women are unveiled,

      • Lousy Israel with its lousy military state.
        Likes to blame Hamas for the death and destruction which Israel has committed in Gaza. Likes to accuse people who advocate human rights for Palestinians as Hamas supporters.
        Israel supporters call for the opposite of human rights when it shoots missiles into densely crowded areas in Gaza, shoots farmers, women and children with impunity. Closes down radio stations when it doesn’t like their message,

      • Walid says:

        “You can call yourself whatever you want but imo if you are sympathetic to Hamas you can be a tireless advocate of the Palestinians but not a “Human rights activist.” Hamas calls for the very opposite when it shoots missiles towards civilians and when it closes down movie theaters because women are unveiled.”

        Tokyobk, what has Hamas done to you?

      • Walid says:

        “No, of the “Angry Arab” who unlike Western liberals has no need or interest in romanticising and who obviously realizes that doing so for points against Israel ( which he detests) is not in the interest of the Palestinians under their rule.”

        Your man sounds more disgusted than angry.

      • annie says:

        You can call yourself whatever you want but imo if you are sympathetic to Hamas you can be a tireless advocate of the Palestinians but not a “Human rights activist.”

        tokyobk, i am reminded of something donald rumbsfeld said, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want..or something like that. you have to face reality, hamas is there. they were elected. they will be choosing a nominee. i would imagine there will be an election.

        i’m not sure how the interim government works but i would imagine hamas will be putting forth a candidate from their own party. maybe they won’t but i assumed they would. that’s being realistic. your ‘angry arab’ comment is weird.

        • Walid says:

          Annie, I was trying to find out why Tokyobk was saying those things about Hamas. I would have understood eee saying them. It sounded like things he was reading off a pamphlet.

        • annie says:

          walid, click on his/her name and check those archives. it’s not that hard to figure out.

        • Walid says:

          Hi Annie, it’s a bit confusing because he/she alternates between being pro-Zionist and against some of the things it’s doing.

        • Hostage says:

          You can call yourself whatever you want but imo if you are sympathetic to Hamas you can be a tireless advocate of the Palestinians but not a “Human rights activist.”

          Hamas campaigned for elections to the PA under the auspices of the amended 2003 Basic Law of Palestine. Article 10 stipulated

          1) Basic human rights and liberties shall be protected and respected.

          2) The Palestinian National Authority shall work without delay to become a party to regional and international declarations and covenants that protect human rights.

          link to palestinianbasiclaw.org

      • American says:

        “You can call yourself whatever you want but imo if you are sympathetic to Hamas you can be a tireless advocate of the Palestinians but not a “Human rights activist.”

        The fact remains ….that if not for Hamas and other resisters there would be no Palestine today. It would be long gone. Given up without a fight.
        If there had been no violence in response to Israel the world would never have noticed I/P.
        I admire the human rights activist, but there are always some who pose as morally superior to everyone else.
        Everyone who thinks human rights activist appealing to the Israeli zionist not to take their land and water and everything else would have ever worked, raise their hand.

    • Hostage says:

      speaking of nominations, what about Khalid Mashaal?

      The agreement calls for a technocrat to head the interim government, not a member of Hamas or Fatah. The parties will be able to name a Prime Minister from their party lists after the general elections.

      There have been quite a few reports that Meshaal has supported Abbas’ UN bid for statehood, e.g.
      *during a recent Palestine conference in Iran: link to richardsilverstein.com
      *Jerusalem Post reported “Hamas will support Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his bid to gain Palestinian membership in the United Nations, and also support the establishment of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 border with Jerusalem as its capital”. link to jpost.com

      So, there probably won’t be any dramatic changes in policy until after the elections. I don’t think Abbas or Fayyad have any plans to run for re-election.

      • annie says:

        hostage, it is possible there will be no interim gov
        link to haaretz.com

        Hamas: Palestinians won't form interim government before elections
        Senior Hamas official says Abbas and Meshal reached quiet understanding during meeting last week in Cairo; deal would remove major obstacle to reconciliation efforts

        The Palestinians' rival leaders have quietly decided to keep their respective governments in the West Bank and Gaza in place until elections, a senior Hamas figure told The Associated Press. This proposal would remove a major obstacle to efforts to reconcile the factions: the need to form an interim unity government.

        • Hostage says:

          hostage, it is possible there will be no interim gov

          Then the PA will continue to be operated by a technocrat from the Third Way party until it is dissolved. Fayyad has explained that the PA doesn’t have the resources to continue operating anyway.

          The PA has signaled that it is ready to take Israel to the International Criminal Court for illegally imprisoning Palestinian civilians in Israeli jails. Prisoners is an issue that Hamas and the PLO/PA have agreed upon. link to gulfnews.com

          Prior to the Shalit prisoner exchange, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said that there are over 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. That practice violates the prohibition against deportation or transfer of the civilian population contained in Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1949). The expired Oslo Agreements only granted Israel criminal jurisdiction “in accordance with international law”, but Israel has ignored the provisions of international law. The Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected a petition to order the State to refrain from holding Palestinian prisoners and detainees in facilities located in Israeli territory within the Green Line. See HCJ Rejects Petition against Holding Detained Palestinians in Israeli Territory [HCJ 2690/09] [28.3.2010] link to idi.org.il

          The HCJ held that Israeli national legislation overrides the provisions of international conventions to which Israel is party, including conventions that reflect customary international law, and that the petition should be rejected.

          The international courts have stated time and again that it is a universal principle of international law that a State cannot invoke its own municipal law as the reason for the non-fulfillment of its obligations under international law. Any attempt to excuse non-fulfillment of an international obligation on the basis of municipal law constitutes a breach of those obligations. See for example André Klip, Göran Sluiter, Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1997-1999, Intersentia nv, 2001, ISBN 9050951414, page 134, paragraph 39 or The Development of International Law by the International Court, Hersch Lauterpacht (ed), Cambridge University Press, 1982, ISBN 0521463327, page 262

          Arutz Sheva is incorrectly reporting that “absent a request from the United Nations Security Council to hear a case, the ICC is restricted to cases wherein both parties are state actors who have accepted ICC jurisdiction.” link to israelnationalnews.com

          In fact, the parties in ICC cases are individuals, not states. Article 12 actually stipulates that only one or more of the states in question has to be a party or file a declaration in order to refer a situation to the Court:

          . . . “the Court may exercise its jurisdiction if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:

          (a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of registration of that vessel or aircraft;

          (b) The State of which the person accused of the crime is a national.

          3. If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in accordance with Part 9.

          It is true that the ICC cannot exercise jurisdiction if Israel conducts credible investigations or prosecutions, but the High Court of Justice has refused to take action.

  3. Woody Tanaka says:

    “Israel and the West say they will not deal with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the Islamic group recognizes Israel, renounces violence and accepts all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.”

    When are the Israelis going to renounce violence???

  4. American says:

    “There are no differences between us at all, and we agreed to work as partners and share responsibilities,” Abbas told reporters after the meeting. “We share the same responsibility toward our people and cause.”

    Good, good, good…stick to it. It’s the only way to go, forget the US, forget Israel..keep plugging away with the rest of the world.

  5. Taxi says:

    C’mon brothers and sisters of Palestine: stop letting the bastard occupier divide and rule ya!

    You got no frigging excuses! Get on with it and to hell with what israel and USA think!

    Despite your differences of opinion, anything short of permanent unity is tantamount to digging your own graves on behalf of the occupier and with your own hands.

    Dis-unity costs Palestinian lives and hopeless misery.

    Get the heck on with it – wot you waiting for?!

  6. HarryLaw says:

    When is Israel going to renounce violence? a good question,when are they going to abide by past agreements? and when are they going to recognise a Paletinian state? Unity based on the application of International Law as a basis for a settlement is the only way forward. Norman Finkelstein never argues for a solution outside what is possible in the real world,that’s why he says the World community has already agreed and for a long time on the basis of that solution, whats needed now is for that community to be mobilised