World Bulletin / News Desk
The Arab League said on Thursday that it backs Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the face of Israeli pressures following the signing of a reconciliation deal with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
An Arab League statement quoted Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi as telling Abbas in a phone conversation that the pan-Arab body welcomes the reconciliation agreement between his Fatah movement, which rules the occupied West Bank, and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip.
"This achievement [the agreement] will boost the Palestinian unity in the face of the serious challenges that face the Palestinian cause at this critical juncture," the statement quoted al-Arabi as telling Abbas in the conversation.
On Wednesday, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement that aims to end years of division between the two factions. The deal, welcomed by most Arab states, calls for the formation of a national unity government to pave the way for presidential and parliamentary polls.
Israel's security cabinet on Thursday unanimously decided to suspend peace talks with the Palestinians in response to the deal.
"The government decided that Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for Israel's destruction," Ofir Gendleman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wrote on Twitter.
"Israel will respond to unilateral Palestinian action with a series of measures," he added without elaborating.
GCC chief welcomes Palestinian reconciliation
Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif al-Zayani on Thursday welcomed a reconciliation deal hammered out in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday by Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian factions.
"I am confident that ending rifts between the Palestinians will be a step in the right direction," al-Zayani said.
"It will help the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights and boost the Palestinians' negotiating position," he was quoted as saying by several Gulf news agencies.
Al-Zayani said the GCC would continue to support the Palestinian people and what he described as their "just cause."
He said the council would back any endeavor aimed at fostering Palestinian unity and obtaining Palestinian rights.
Relations between Fatah and Hamas had been tense since the latter seized control of the Gaza Strip following deadly clashes with pro-Fatah forces in 2007 – one year after Hamas defeated Fatah in Palestinian legislative polls.
Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2014, 10:18