Hamas has called for the various Palestinian factions not to participate in the Palestinian National Council session that will be held in mid-September.
The movement said in a press statement: “We call on all Palestinian factions not to get involved in this nonsense that threatens Palestinian unity and interests.”
The movement described the call for a National Council meeting as a “coup” against national consensus. It says that it holds the Fatah leadership responsible for the implications of this move.
In an interview with Palestinian radio on Thursday morning, Salim Zaanoun, the head of the Palestinian National Council, said that he held a lengthy meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman on Wednesday,.and agreed to hold an ordinary session of the council on 15 September in Ramallah.
President Abbas announced on 24 August that he was resigning from the PLO’s Executive Committee along with a number of others in a move that was seen by observers as a means to justify holding a National Council meeting, in according with the law of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
The National Council serves as the PLO’s parliament. It includes representatives of the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine. It was founded in 1948, but has not held a regular session since 1996. It is the highest authority representing the Palestinian people at home and in the diaspora.
The council includes 740 members representing all factions (except Hamas and Islamic Jihad), members of the Legislative Council, representatives of the unions, and independents.