Abbas calls for referendum on Palestinian state in 1967 borders
Leaders of Hamas and Fatah held talks Thursday in a bid to end the violence in the streets of Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmud Abbas was chairing the talks from the West Bank town of Ramallah. Abbas said Thursday that he would put the National Reconciliation Document proposed by pioneer Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails into a general referendum.
In the inaugurating speech before the Palestinian National Dialogue Conference in the Presidential HQ in Ramallah, the President said that the referendum would be conducted in forty days, if the conferees did not reach conclusion within ten days. The Document is accepting a Palestinian state in 1967 borders alongside Israel.
Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya was in Gaza City and taking part via videophone, due to Israeli travel restrictions. Senior Hamas officials said they accepted the idea of a referendum.
"I think that all parties have a serious desire for this dialogue to succeed and to foster propicious circumstances to this end. We are committed to the unity of the Palestinian people and allowing dialogue to prevail rather than the language of weapons," Haniya told reporters ahead of the discussions.
"We have to enforce ... the relationship between Hamas and Fatah. We want to stop all kinds of clashes," said Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government, in a CNN interview. "We wanted to tell the world that our convictions and our struggle is with occupation, not with each other," he added.
Clashes continued Wednesday, resulting in the death of a Hamas activist and senior officer in the PA Preventive Security Service in Gaza Strip.