Haneya urges Egypt to push Abbas to agree on reconciliation

Source:Global Times Published: 2009-9-17 9:01:20

The de facto Prime Minister of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haneya, on Wednesday called on Egypt to urge Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party, to agree on a reconciliation deal that ends the current Palestinian internal rift.

"We urge Egypt to put full pressure on the decision makers in the West Bank, in reference to Abbas and his Fatah movement, to remove all obstacles that obstruct reaching a national reconciliation," said Haneya, who revealed that his movement has some notes on an Egyptian proposal for conciliation.

Haneya, who declined to reveal what these notes are, said "I could say that the Egyptian vision is good and we can build on it, because it may open horizons for inter-reconciliation soon. We reiterate that we still have a desire for a dialogue and ending the current split."

The Egypt's initiative for reconciliation calls for forming a joint factional committee to coordinate between Hamas government in Gaza and the Palestinian government in the West Bank, until holding the legislative and presidential elections in June 2010.

The initiative also calls for deploying a 3,000-officer security force in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, who will be trained by Arab and Egyptian security officials. The Egyptian vision also calls for ending feuds and disputes, mainly between Fatah and Hamas and sign a reconciliation deal next month in Cairo.

Fatah movement has announced that it accepts the Egyptian initiative, but other Palestinian factions expressed reservations on some points, mainly the elections. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad said their official response will be handed to Egypt after the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr.

As Haneya was making his statements in Gaza city before dozens of Islamic Hamas movement's lawmakers, sources at Abbas headquarters in Ramallah revealed that Abbas will soon issue a decree of reshuffling his security apparatuses in the West Bank.

Hamas militants had seized control of the Gaza Strip by force in June 2007, and had routed President Abbas security forces. Since then, high-ranking security officials had either fled Gaza, or refrained from returning to work, while the West Bank remained under Abbas and Fatah rule.

The sources at Abbas office in Ramallah said that these changes would reach the commands of the security intelligence, the internal preventive security and the military intelligence in the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, there are more some 30,000 security officers who stay home since Hamas takeover of Gaza.

The sources, who spoke in condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that Abbas will soon issue a decree to appoint Brig. Gen. Majid Faraj, 47, as the security intelligence chief in the West Bank. The former intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Tawfiq Tirawi, was elected as member of Fatah central committee last month.


Faraj has been the chief of the Palestinian military intelligence in the West Bank since 2006. He is also a member in the security committee of Fatah party that is involved in a reconciliation dialogue with rival Hamas movement in Cairo.

The sources at Abbas office expected that Abbas would appoint General Zeyad al-Masharawi as the new chief of military intelligence, instead of Faraj. Al-Masharawi is from the Gaza Strip, where he fled the enclave after Hamas seized control of it in 2007.

General Zakaria Mesleh will be the new preventive security chief and Yousef Eassa, who is also from Gaza will be his deputy. There is a decision to keep General Theyab el-Ali, as chief of the public security, in the service for another year.

General Hazem Atallah will be the civil police chief. The changes are only for the West Bank, while the Gaza Strip is still ruled by Hamas, as all Abbas security forces were routed when the Islamic movement controlled the enclave.

The reasons behind the security changes that Abbas is carrying out are not known, but the sources said that Abbas who pumped new blood into Fatah and the PLO, would also like to pump new blood into the security forces.

Egypt intends to invite chiefs of Palestinian factions to Cairo after the Eid ul-Fitr Holiday for a comprehensive session of dialogue to end the current disputes and feuds that has been going on for around three years.

"The dialogue could succeed if there was a political will," said Haniya. However, Fatah movement announced earlier on Tuesday that it accepts the Egyptian vision, mainly the issue of postponing the elections.

Hamas said that before having any dialogue, all Hamas political prisoners in the West Bank must be released. Hamas says there are around 900 Hamas prisoners, adding that it only wants to resolve the crisis as one undivided package.

Posted in: Mid-East

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