A senior member of the Central Committee of Fatah has said that the proposed visit of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Gaza is part of the practical process for reconciliation with Hamas, not the basis for renewed dialogue with the Islamic Resistance Movement. According to Azzam Al Ahmad, this practical step confirms that there is no need for further dialogue with Hamas.
"This initiative is not a kick-start to further dialogue," said Mr. Al Ahmad. "There is nothing left for us to talk about. We talked a lot in Cairo and Damascus. And there is the Egyptian document, and the understandings agreed upon by Fatah and Hamas." If Hamas is genuine about reconciliation, he added, "it would have welcomed the President's visit to Gaza as part of an agreement on forming a new government and ending the division".
Al Ahmed noted that the Hamas leadership "stayed silent until yesterday, when political bureau members Usama Hamdan and Mohamed Nazal came out and revealed their true position on the initiative. "Based on my experience," he said, "their rejection arises from the illusion that they will be partners with Israel and the US in the peace process." There are, he added, currently no talks with Hamas.
"The President's statements were clear," stressed Mr. Al Ahmad. "He is not going to Gaza for the sake of dialogue, but to form a government and agree on setting a time for holding elections. Any other dialogue would come later; and in the Palestinian arena, dialogue over any contentious issue never ends."