The Damascus-based leader of the Islamic Jihad, Dr. Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, asserted on Monday that his movements backs a comprehensive dialogue among all Palestinian factions, including the rival Hamas and Fatah. Shallah's remarks came following his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during the latter's current visit to Syria.
During his stay in the Syrian capital, Abbas avoided a meeting with Hamas political chief, Khaled Masha'al. Sources close to Abbas said he turned down proposals to meet Masha'al after the Hamas leader claimed that the recent call by Abbas for Palestinian dialogue was meant to pave the way for upcoming agreements with Israel.
For his part, senior Hamas political leader, Dr. Mohammad Nazzal, said in Damascus that Abbas' inability to hold direct talks with Hamas' leaders in the Syrian capital can be attributed to an American veto. On Sunday, another Hamas leader, Mahmoud Az Zahar said that the Palestinian dialogue has “returned to square one.” He stated that there is no dialogue now “because there is no capacity among officials in Ramallah to hold a dialogue due to the US and European veto.”