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Qatari Emir and Meshaal discuss Palestinian reconciliation and Israel's threat to holy sites

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, received a delegation from the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, in Doha yesterday. The delegation, lead by the movement’s political bureau chief, Khaled Meshaal, and including Dr. Moussa Abu Marzouk, Mohammed Nasr, and Izzat al-Rishq, intends to discuss the latest developments on the Palestinian political scene, including prospects for confronting the occupation and Palestinian national reconciliation efforts.

In an exclusive statement to Quds Press, Izzat Al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said that the delegation had discussed a number of issues with the Qatari Emir including; Israeli threats to sacred sites, the continuation of the siege imposed on Gaza, Palestinian national reconciliation and Arab support for the perseverance of the Palestinian people.

Al-Rishq added: “His Highness, the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, has assured us that they will move under the umbrella of the Arab League to lift the siege imposed on the Palestinian people. They will review the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) signed between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under European auspices, and at the same time, carry out a legal review of this agreement which is unfair to our people since it hinders Egypt from opening the Rafah crossing.”

Al-Rishq reiterated his accusation that Israel and the American administration were preventing the attainment of Palestinian reconciliation. He said, “Regrettably, Palestinian reconciliation has stalled until now because of the U.S. and Israeli veto, and [because] there is full acceptance from Mahmoud Abbas of American and Israeli conditions. In the mean time, there is an attempt to impose non-national political conditions on it [the reconciliation], which means that the price of reconciliation is the recognition of Israel and the acceptance of the Quartet’s conditions. This is the real reason why reconciliation has not been reached. And also, there are threats to cut aid to Mahmoud Abbas if reconciliation is achieved. So Mahmoud Abbas is currently not concerned with reconciliation – and the same can be said for some Arab countries, who do not wish to restrict Mahmoud Abbas’ freedom to negotiate with the Israelis.”

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