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article imageHamas 'salutes' Palestinian President Abbas' speech

By Paul Iddon     Apr 26, 2014 in Politics
In a speech given to leaders of the PLO in Ramallah regarding the very recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he is willing to extend peace talks with Israel provided his conditions are met.
The Jerusalem Post reports that Hamas has applauded the speech and said it was positive.
Abbas' party, the Fatah, just recently ended a rift with Hamas which stretched back as far as 2006 following Hamas' electoral victory in the Palestinian Gaza Strip and its subsequent takeover of, and purging of Fatah from, the territory the following year.
The Israelis deplore the move. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Abbas has chosen Hamas over peace with Israel. His government consequently froze the peace talks between the two governments.
Voice of America also writes that the Palestinian president said that he is still willing to negotiate with Israel on a peace settlement provided that his demands to free prisoners and completely halt construction in Israeli settlements on the West Bank are met.
He said in his speech that, "On the table we will present our map, for three months we'll discuss our map. In that period, until the map is agreed upon, all settlement activity must cease completely."
Deustche Welle informs us that the adviser to the leader of Hamas, Bassem Naim said that Mr. Abbas' speech, "had many positive points, and we cannot but support it on topics such as Jerusalem, reconciliation and not recognizing [Israel as] the Jewish state, in addition to the failure of negotiations [with Israel]."
The unity government that was formed between Fatah and Hamas will not be responsible for negotiating with Israel. That task rests on the shoulders of the West Bank-based Fatah-dominated PLO alone.
The aforementioned Naim said that this new Palestinian unity government that Fatah and Hamas are erecting "has only three main missions: unifying the Palestinian organizations, preparing for elections and reconstructing Gaza."
More about Hamas, Palestinian authority, Fatah, Mahmoud abbas, Gaza
 
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