Abbas calls on Hamas, Islamic Jihad to attend unity government talks in Cairo

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: Twitter)
AMMAN Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is taking steps towards fostering unity among Palestinian factions by inviting all leaders to a crucial meeting in Cairo, Egypt. According to Azzam Al Ahmad, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Abbas aims to create a unity government that includes Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, among others.اضافة اعلان

The goal of the meeting, made public on Friday, is to bring together all Palestinian factions to engage in discussions and form a united front. However, it's worth noting that the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have also been called upon to join the meeting, Jerusalem Post reported.  These factions, alongside Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have been vocal opponents of the Oslo Accords which established the PA in 1994.

Egypt shows willingness to mediate
Despite the differences in views, Palestinian sources reveal that Egypt has shown willingness to host the meeting and mediate between the factions. Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr previously confirmed Egypt's approval, emphasizing that the gathering aims to forge a comprehensive national vision and unite all Palestinian ranks.

Ongoing tensions
The meeting is scheduled for the end of July, but there are some concerns about the attendance of Hamas officials due to ongoing tensions between them, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah. These tensions have been highlighted by the division and split between the factions since 2007.

The first Palestinian unity government, formed in 2007, was headed by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who was removed from his position by Mahmoud Abbas in June of the same year. A month later, Hamas staged a coup against the PA and seized control of the entire Gaza Strip.

In 2014, another unity government called the National Consensus Government, was established after the ruling Fatah faction and Hamas reached a reconciliation agreement to end their rivalry. The government remained in power until 2019, when former PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was replaced with Mohammad Shtayyeh.

Another point of tension is the many arrests of Palestinians conducted by PA. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have long accused the PA security forces of arresting its members. Both groups maintain that unless this situation changes, attendance in Cairo remains uncertain. Reports indicate that at least 53 Palestinians are currently in custody because of their political affiliation, as reported by various media sources.

Adding further complexity, the recent Israeli raid on Jenin and the Jenin Camp has stirred tensions. The Palestinian Authority is cautious about not allowing Islamic Jihad and Hamas to gain further support in the region. This led President Abbas to personally visit Jenin last week, even after an official he had sent was driven away following the Israeli soldiers' destructive raid on the camp.

In calling for this crucial meeting, Abbas is once again extending an olive branch to Palestinian factions in a renewed effort to achieve unity and address the challenges they face collectively.

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