Last Update 22:19
Abbas govt protests Egypt invite to Hamas PM
President Mohamed Morsi's expected meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya is protested by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, in which a letter was sent to Egypt's president calling on him to not deal with him as PM
AFP , Wednesday 19 Sep 2012
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haniyeh
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AFP)

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has formally protested a decision by Egypt's prime minister to receive Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday

"The Palestinian leadership and president Abbas are conducting contacts with the Egyptian leadership over the meeting between Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya," Saleh Raafat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station.

Haniya, who serves as prime minister at the head of Hamas's government in the Gaza Strip, met with Qandil in Cairo on Monday evening.

Raafat, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said Abbas's Palestinian Authority was seeking "Egyptian clarification on the meeting, particularly as Haniya has no official status."

The West Bank and Gaza have been under divided Palestinian rule since 2007, when long-standing animosity between Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas boiled over into violence some 18 months after the Islamist group won a surprise electoral victory.

Hamas seized control of Gaza, and Fatah retreated to the West Bank, with each setting up rival administrations in the two territories, with Haniya heading the Gaza government, and Salam Fayyad holding the same post in the West Bank.

There have been no elections since 2006, and Abbas has remained in the office of president despite the official expiry of his term in 2009.

Raafat said Abbas had personally sent a letter to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesday, through Egypt's ambassador to the Palestinian territories.

The letter "included a protest and called officially on the Egyptian government not to deal with Haniya as prime minister," Raafat said.

He said Abbas would meet soon with Morsi, without saying when, to "discuss the matter."

In a statement, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri slammed Abbas and his government, accusing them of trying to impose a "political siege" on the movement under the banner of "unified Palestinian representation."

"Hamas stresses that Mahmoud Abbas does not have any right to talk about unified Palestinian representation, given that his legal term expired more than three years ago," Abu Zuhri said.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal last year in Egypt, but implementation of the agreement stalled over the formation of an interim government of independents.

Relations between the two sides have continued to deteriorate, despite successive rounds of meetings intended to advance the reconciliation deal.

On Wednesday, Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority of arresting more than 70 of its members in the space of 24 hours.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, Hamas sources said most of the arrests took place in the northern West Bank towns of Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Salfit and Nablus.

Fatah and Hamas regularly trade accusations over the arrests of their members in the West Bank and Gaza.



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ak
19-09-2012 03:45pm
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This is non sense - Enough is enough
By now, one should be sick to death from the disputes and fights, meetings and talks between these two sides without any outcome. When are they going to wake-up and unite for the sake of their children future? They are weakening themselves and destroying the peace process, while Israel is watching with smile and content. If President Morsi's team is meeting with one side this may be for the benefits of both sides; and the President of Palestine needs to be more positive (think of a glass half full instead of half empty!).
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Mohamed
19-09-2012 03:30pm
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Abbas against Haniyeh
This is silly. Both positions are symbols of the occupation. I agree with Hamas contesting elections so that Fatah does not have a free hand to sell out the Palestinians as it has done for the past 25 years. However, they should only hold the position to blaock the sell-out. On the other hand they should be dismantling the PA functionally and hand over responsibility to the occupier. Politically unite the prisoners, occupied territories,the diaspora and Arabs within Israel itself. The aim is fight for a state of its citizens with the non-negotiable right of return of refugees. All the final status issues will be resolved with a programme of non-collaboration with the occupation. A single state .
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Dalou
19-09-2012 07:23pm
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Abbas
Shameless comedy to hoom this proffites? Mr Abbas whole world is watching you and the Israeli government is laughing. No statemanship no unity.

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