Hamas confirms reaching informal agreement with Egypt
Cairo has reached an informal agreement with Hamas that would support national Palestinian unity after a possible Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Egyptian talks have failed to convince Hamas of the Egyptian initiative regarding the security set-up following the Israeli pullout.
Details offered by Hamas were not adequate to reveal the (possibly intended) ambiguity surrounding the agreement.
According to the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, the agreement came following three-day talks in Cairo with Khaled Mish'al - head of Hamas' political wing.
Sa'eed Siam, Hamas' spokesman in Gaza, told Al Bawaba "all what happened in Cairo was an informal agreement…there was no written document."
"What was agreed upon in Cairo was the movement's support of the national unity of the Palestinian people after an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the northern part of the West Bank."
"Hamas supports unity and is against any internal Palestinian disputes. We also want all the local factions to share the power without any party taking a bigger share than the other. Everyone must realize that resistance will be the reason for any future Israeli withdrawal," Siam explained.
Egypt had offered to help rebuild and train the Palestinian security apparatus so that security can be enforced following an Israeli withdrawal of the Gaza Strip. This offer was welcomed by the Palestinian Authority however faced rejection by most of the Palestinian factions including Hamas. Hamas had rejected any Egyptian military presence for fears it may dominate its own political influence in the territory.
"We insist that the problem in Gaza is not about security…it is much bigger than that and the issue was discussed in our meetings with the Egyptians and they are aware of our point of view," conveyed Siam.
"We don’t want the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza to come as a result of Arab guarantees…we don’t want any party to save Sharon from this critical situation. We want the Israeli withdrawal to look like an escape, and after that I believe that Palestinian people can agree internally on how to manage theri own affairs," Siam concluded.
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)