A member of the Political Bureau of the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, Dr Mousa Abu Marzouk, has warned that US Secretary of State John Kerry's attempt to get a framework agreement signed by the Palestinian Authority and Israel is nothing more than a repeat of the Oslo arrangement, without representing the will of the Palestinian people.
On Sunday, Abu Marzouk posted a statement to his Facebook page saying that: "the framework, if agreed upon, will be signed by the president of the occupation's government, Benjamin Netanyahu, who will then take it to the Israeli Knesset, whereas it is not clear who would be able to sign it from the Palestinian side and where he could take it," especially considering that the issues included in this agreement have to do with greater Palestine.
Abu Marzouk questioned if the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), would "be called upon after a deep sleep" to approve of the agreement, considering that the PLO is the Palestinian party that took part in the original negotiations. He also pointed out that the current negotiations are being "conducted without the approval of the PLO's executive committee".
All of this illustrates the crisis of legitimacy that the Palestinian negotiators are facing today. The PNC has not met since 1998 and even the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), which is the legislative body of the Palestinian Authority, has not met since 2007. Furthermore, the legitimate results of the 2006 elections were overthrown and Mahmoud Abbas's presidential mandate expired in 2009. And yet despite all this, the current Palestinian negotiators still claim that they are negotiating on behalf of Palestinians everywhere.
Furthermore, the Hamas leader explained that the reason the executive committee had been formed in the first place was to activate the PLO and to ensure everybody's participation, however "the committee has not achieved anything in this regard."
He continued that there have not been the necessary elections for the presidency and the PLC, and nor is there "a national consensus on reconciliation and ending the division". Thus he wondered how "a referendum could be held" to approve any agreement, "and what has been done to prepare for it," adding that "the people's opinion should prevail."
In related news, a Palestinian Authority official has confirmed that Kerry will be visiting the Middle East this week "on a new mission for achieving peace in the region, where he will meet with both Abbas and Netanyahu."