Cairo talks called off; Abu Marzuq: Hamas absence leaves Palestinian dialogue meaningless
The deputy chief of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, politburo, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzuq announced that his movement has sent its regrets for not attending the Palestinian national dialogue that was planned to be held in Cairo. “The absence of Hamas from the meeting makes it meaningless,” he told Albawaba.com in a telephone call from his office in Damascus.
Abu Marzuq said Hamas sent its regrets to the Egyptian authorities for not attending the conference, suggesting that there was a call by a Hamas-Fatah previous meeting for a comprehensive Palestinian national dialogue without excluding anybody. He added that his movement was surprised by the exclusion of some Palestinian factions not represented in the follow up committee and thus there has been no reason for his movement to attend meetings outside the Palestinian territories.
“We believe that the dialogue should be a comprehensive Palestinian dialogue to discuss a Palestinian baseline for adopting a plan that would regulate the resistance of the Palestinian people and help them restore their rights. When some factions are excluded from attending, this means there is no reason for us to attended such a meeting.”
Responding to a question about the one-year cease-fire proposal presented by Egypt, Abu Marzuq said, “our Egyptian brothers called for a cease-fire between us and the Israelis for one year but we apologized for not being able to respond to their request. The main reason behind our rejection is that we believe our people should continue resistance as long as there is an occupation.”
“We cannot agree on a cease-fire while the occupation continues striking at our people. We are the side that is being hit and most of the time we do not carry out any attacks. We defend ourselves, people and rights and therefore these should be taken into consideration. We are not the aggressors whom they should discuss the cease-fire proposal with,” Hamas politburo deputy chief said.
In a related development, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad, Tariq Nikhala, also said his movement is changing its earlier position to accept an Egyptian invitation to the discussion scheduled for Thursday.
"The Jihad can only take part in an expanded meeting in which all are invited," Nikhala said.
Following these announcements, Egypt called off the Palestinian talks. "Egypt cancelled the meeting after Syria refused to allow Palestinian factions based in Damascus to go to Egypt for the dialogue," a Palestinian official in Cairo, told Reuters.
Palestinian sources told Reuters in Beirut that Egypt had not invited several factions and was making unacceptable demands for a complete halt to violence in the intifada.
"The Egyptians want a dialogue with some of the parties, and are asking for a halt to operations inside [Israel] with no program and nothing in return," said one of the sources. "No Palestinian can accept these two points, and the dialogue is as good as over." (Albawaba.com)
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