Although there is a substantial deference between Fatah and Hamas about the basic strategy toward Israel, there is no difference as to the interpretation of the “right of return”. Both parties declared several times in public that the “right of return” means that all the refugees from 1948 or their descendants should returns to their homes in their villages and be compensated for the suffering they endured in the last 60 years. The actual meaning is that Israel, as a Jewish democratic state will cease to exist.
On 03/17/2005 Mahmoud Abbas signed in Cairo, Egypt, the “Hudna” (In Arabic – temporary cease fire) agreement with Hamas and other Palestinians factions. In the agreement Mahmoud Abbas accepted with his signature the Hamas formula of the Palestinian “Right of Return”. He reconfirmed in Mecca declaration, from 02/08/2007, all the principles of the Cairo “Hudna” agreement.
Mahmoud Abbas put all his pressure and prestige to convince Condoleezza Rice, in late 2005, to enable the Hamas to participate in the Palestinian elections, which eventually took place on 01/16/2006, although according to Oslo accords, in Palestinian elections groups which denied the right of Israel to exist are banned from taking part.(See - FLIK-FLAK )
In the peace negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians there are plenty of agreements about secondary issues such as policing, common sewage system, agricultural cooperation and exports but there is no breakthrough in the substantial issues: borders, the status of Jerusalem, right of return and the recognition of Israel as the state of the Jews, just as Israel is prepared to recognize Palestine as the state of the Palestinians, the security arrangements and the exterritorial passage between Gaza and the West Bank.
It is not the first time that the Palestinian president threatens Israel and USA, that if there will be no progress on the core issues according to the Palestinian guidelines, he will resume talks with the Hamas, which is fully committed to the destruction of Israel (Fatah-Talks). Some right wing commentators in Israel claim that Mahmoud Abbas offers Israel to destroy itself through the political process with the Fatah or through the military confrontation with the Hamas.
Despite his previous declarations not to speak with Hamas unless they return Gaza Strip to the hands of the Fatah after Hamas took over Gaza a year ago in 06/2007, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has called, on 06/05/2008, for renewed dialogue with Hamas, which was immediately welcomed by Hamas PM in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh.
Indeed Fatah and Hamas delegates have met one after the other, on 06/07/2008, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade in Dakar, Senegal’s capital in a first round of mediation.
The talks came amide confusion in Israel about the daily shelling of Israeli civilians from Gaza Strip. Israel is facing herself a dilemma whether to negotiate with Hamas a cease fire deal and, through the talks to legitimize the Hamas as the sovereign power of Gaza, or launch a massive military attack with uncertain outcome (Gaza-talks).
Through the talks with Hamas
Mahmoud Abbas signals Israel
that the option of military Israeli reoccupation of Gaza
and then, in the second stage, to hand over Gaza
to the Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas is not on the table. If Israel
will invade Gaza
she will bear alone the burden of all the consequences - Fatah will not be a part of the solution and legitimize the Israeli invasion to Gaza
. The new policy of Mahmoud Abbas is that the Fatah - Hamas conflict is a Palestinian internal affair and not a subject for Israeli interference.
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