Hamas says Abbas sabotages PLO reform efforts

Hamas said Abbas's declarations on the groups' call to reform PLO are meant to sabotage all efforts for dialogue.

Hamas says Abbas sabotages PLO reform efforts

The Hamas movement on Monday said Abbas's declarations on the groups' call to reform Palestinian Liberation Organization are meant to sabotage all efforts for dialogue as it cited they were agree in principle with a one-year truce.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday rejected a call by Hamas to replace the PLO with an organisation less dominated by his allies, and said recognising the primacy of the PLO in representing all Palestinians was a condition for dialogue, Maan news agency reported.

A spokesperson for Hamas, Fawzi Barhoum, said the remarks amount to "an attempt to thwart all regional and international sympathy with Hamas," noting the Palestinian resistance has made serious gains in worldwide opinion.

Barhoum said such declarations "are meant to sabotage Palestinian, Egyptian and Arab efforts to hold fruitful Palestinian dialogue."

"When Hamas suggested the creation of 'a new representation' for the Palestinian people in their homeland and in Diaspora, this was not meant to suggest creating an alternative to the PLO," Barhoum explained.

"We want to add opposition factions to the PLO, factions that are still not included within the body," he added.

Truce talks

We agree in principle with a one-year truce," Barhum said in Gaza City ahead of the Cairo talks, but added that Hamas has not ruled out an 18-month truce proposed by the Egyptian mediators.

"Whether one year or a year and a half, it must be linked to the opening of all crossing points, including Rafah, and the lifting of the (Israeli) blockade," Barhum said.

Representatives of Hamas -- the Islamist movement which has controlled Gaza since it ousted forces loyal to Abbas in 2007 -- were also due in Cairo amid continued factional feuding.

Hamas official Ayman Taha told Reuters in Cairo from Gaza:

"Our position is clear. Our demand is the rebuilding or reform of the PLO, but if the other side insists on not reforming the PLO or rebuilding it, it is our right to look at other options."

Abbas said Hamas was irresponsible for breaking off a six-month truce with Israel in December, and that the rockets it fired gave the Jewish state a pretext for its ferocious attack on Gaza.

Hamas said Israel had undermined the ceasefire by failing to lift its economic blockade of Gaza, most of whose 1.5 million population are refugees living in camps.

Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2009, 08:42
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