Monday, April 6, 2009

Abbas to Dispatch Aides to Gaza; Hamas Welcomes Step

International Middle East Media Center, April 7, 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, instructed on Monday two Fateh officials to visit the Gaza Strip in order to observe the destruction caused by the Israeli offensive, and to hold talks with different factions, including Hamas. Hamas movement welcomed the decision of Abbas.

The two Fateh officials who will be heading to Gaza are Marwan Abdul-Hamid, Abbas’ advisor on development and construction, and Abdullah Al Efranji, in charge of Fateh’s External Relations.

Al Efranji stated that this visit aims at listening to all factions in the Gaza Strip, to observe the destruction caused by the Israeli offensive, and to observe the effects of this assault on Fateh’s institutions, educational facilities and different institutions in Gaza.

Al Efranji added that this visit is not a replacement to unity talks, but it comes to advance internal dialogue.

“We want to listen to our brothers in Gaza, “he stated, “We do not want to be isolated from what is happening in the Gaza Strip”.

“We will observe the damage caused by the Israeli offensive,” AL Efranji state, “This is very important since we have talks and relations with different parties, institutions and countries abroad, we need to give them a clear idea on what happened there”.

He added that talks with Hamas and other factions aim at achieving unity, and would resume in Cairo.

On his part, Abdul-Hamid said that this visit is also related to the internal talks held in Cairo, and was made under instructions from president Abbas.

“This visit is a message to all Palestinians; we are one nation”, Abdul-Hamid stated, “What happened in Gaza holds a top priority is the president’s agenda, that’s why he sent us to Gaza”.

Meanwhile, Hamas movement stated that the Gaza Strip is opened to every person and every side, except to the occupation.

Ismail Radwan of Hamas said that his movement agreed with Fateh to hold further talks and meetings in Gaza and elsewhere, and welcomed all efforts that aim at resuming internal dialogue.

Radwan added that although the last internal talks session could not resolve the remaining points of conflict, yet Hamas is determined to achieve a unity deal, and instructed its negotiators to be open-minded in the talks and to facilitate a deal.

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