Islamic Hamas movement cannot join the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under the organization ‘s current statutes that recognize Israel, a Hamas official responded Sunday to remarks by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Abbas’ remarks express preconditions that Hamas cannot accept,” Salah Al-Bardaweel, a Hamas official in Gaza, told Xinhua.
Abbas’ statements violate what he and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal agreed upon in their last meeting in Cairo in November, Al- Bardaweel said. During that meeting, the two leaders agreed to work as partners and rebuild the PLO “on the basis of partnership and electing a new leadership to define the organization’s program and charter,” he added.
In an interview with Europe’s broadcast network euronews Friday, Abbas said any movement that wants to join the PLO has to accept its commitments.
“We will verify if these statements are for outside consumption as they came at the beginning of Abbas’ visit to Europe or if they were preconditions,” Al-Bardaweel said, asserting that “nobody can force Hamas to be committed in what it doesn’t accept.” He was referring to the recognition of Israel.
Meetings between Palestinian factions in Cairo, scheduled to begin today, will discuss the reforming of the PLO to represent more factions, especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements.