By Izzat Ramini
Albawaba.com – Ramallah
The Palestinian Islamist and nationalist movements, a coalition of 14 groups undertaking the street leadership of the Intifada, have shown their vehement opposition to both renewing contacts with Israel, and reactivating peace negotiations.
The groups, including President Yasser Arafat’s Fateh, have criticized the peace initiative proposed by Speaker of the Legislative Council Ahmad Qorei two days ago calling for the resumption of peace efforts. The groups in their opposition to such efforts went as far as issuing a statement attacking Arafat’s advisor Tayeb Abdul Rahim for meeting with Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing on November 23. The statement, signed by Fateh, accused Abdul Rahim of “neglecting the blood of Palestinian martyrs.”
Observers say that the coalition has begun to speak out about their demand to be part of decision-making which they believe should not be exclusively in the hands of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
Albawaba.com met with leaders of the groups to hear their comments on the latest developments.
HAMAS: INITIATIVES ARE DANGEROUS AND FRUSTRATING
Spokesman for Hamas, Mahmoud Zahar described the Qorei’s initiative, and the trend towards peace, as “dangerous and not in harmony with the convictions of the Palestinian and Arab on the street who believe that these actions are signs of weakness.”
Zahar accused Qorei of being “unable to feel the pulse of the street, and of trading Palestinian blood by lifting the siege and security coordination with the Israelis.”
“We are in the final stage of removing the settlements and ending occupation, and here comes someone who talks about demanding that Israel should halt settlement construction,” said a Hamas spokesman, who warned that returning to negotiations would harm the national unity.
Zahar claimed that “most people in the country are against these meetings and initiatives which reflect the opposite of the reality we live in, despite the Israeli siege and atrocities against our people.”
He went on to charge that these initiatives are “an attempt to frustrate the average person whose patriotic feelings, sense of responsibility, and readiness to sacrifice” are the parameters to gauge what is really needed.
DFLP: NEGOTIATIONS SHOULD BE BASED ON NEW GROUNDS
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) agreed with Hamas, but said that if negotiations are to be renewed, they should be based on new grounds.
“There is a consensus that there should be no return to talks on the basis of their previous formula. There must be a radical change in this formula in a way that ensures full implementation of the related legitimate international resolutions, in separation from sole US sponsorship and its bias towards Israel,” said DFLP politburo member Qais Abdul Karim, better known as Abu Laila.
Unless that is secured, it is pointless on the part of the Palestinians to have contacts with Israeli officials.
“All these contacts will lead to nowhere in light of the present conflict between the two sides,” said Abu Laila. Not only that, but such meetings might be harmful according to the DFLP official.
He demanded that all political powers take part in the process of decision-making, and that leadership of the Palestinian people should not be confined exclusively to a certain group.
PFLP: QOREI’S INITIATIVE IS WEIGHTLESS
According to Abu Ali Mustafa, Secretary General of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Qorei’s initiative is a personal viewpoint, and was not discussed at an institutional level, or at the leadership level. He criticized the plan saying that it is unable to politically encompass the achievements of the Intifada.
“We do not agree to going back to the situation prior to September 28, nor do we agree to negotiate on the basis of Oslo,” said Mustafa, who added that the Palestinian demand for an international force to protect it from the Israeli aggression is a fair one which should be met.
“We deserve no less than what the people of East Timor or Namibia were given. UN troops went there to secure these people their right to self determination,” he said.
Mustafa agreed with Abu Laila on the issue of involving political powers in government. He also called for a national unity government in which all Palestinian factions, including those outside the PLO to take part.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)