The Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad movement, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, has said that his movement is willing to enter the Palestinian Liberation Organisation if there are new political and organisational foundations for the organisation.
In an interview with the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, Shallah observed that the meetings held for discussing the issue of the PLO have so far evaded political matters. Islamic Jihad believes this evasion will create another problem that will be bigger than the disagreement between Fatah and Hamas over power, because the divisions emerged when all factions took part in the election, with each faction holding on to its platform.
“We cannot be part of Oslo’s political framework,” Shallah said. “Our stance is well known and it has not changed,” he added. He also confirmed that his movement refuses to take part in any elections, be they presidential or parliamentary.
In regards to the reconciliation deal, Shallah noted, “We are not part of the division. Therefore, we are not party to the reconciliation agreement. But in principle we welcome the reconciliation and any step that serves our people and our cause on the condition that it does not violate any of our national fundamentals.”
He suggested that the reconciliation agreement has arisen at this time in particular because the two sides are going through crises: Hamas is going through a crisis in governing Gaza and the Palestinian Authority is facing a deadlock in its negotiations with the Israelis. Additionally, the Palestinian people are opposed to the divisions.
“There are hopes and expectations for the success of the reconciliation. But we must not have extremely high hopes because there are many obstacles and complicated matters.”
He noted that, “the same obstacles which hindered reaching a reconciliation agreement in the past have not been overcome [this time], but rather they were evaded or worked around so that the reconciliation could be announced.”
He listed the different obstacles to the agreement, which include: the political platform, the government, the elections, the security apparatuses, the PLO and the resistance, as well as other issues. “The devil is in the details. Each point in those details can turn into a problem and ruin the agreement,” Shallah said.