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Fatah requests Ghannouchi mediation to accelerate the implementation of the reconciliation agreement with Hamas

Leader of the Tunisian Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi [R]

The Fatah movement has asked the leader of the Tunisian Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, to intervene with Hamas in order to implement the terms of the reconciliation agreement signed between the two parties in Cairo in October.

Azzam al-Ahmad, Fatah Central Committee member and its official for the reconciliation file, said in an interview with Quds Press that "he met with the head of the Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, on Monday in Tunis and asked him to intervene with Hamas to accelerate the practical implementation of what was agreed upon in Cairo".

He added: "I have briefed Sheikh Rached in my meeting with him today, which was a lengthy meeting, on the situation in Palestine in all its aspects, and the importance of unity of the Palestinian people in confronting the occupation and the Trump Declaration on Jerusalem.

"He added: "I also briefed him on the obstacles that have emerged in the implementation of the reconciliation agreement according to the mechanisms signed between the Hamas and Fatah movements on 12 October in Cairo and the very slow pace of the implementation of what was agreed upon, both in terms of enabling the national consensus government to perform its functions according to the order and law in Gaza as in the West Bank, as well as other points in the agreement."

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Al-Ahmad revealed that he told Ghannouchi: "We in Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization adhere to the literal text of what has been signed. We asked Sheikh Rached to intervene with the brothers in Hamas, and I told him we accept you to be a judge between us and the one who hinders the implementation of the agreement."

Al-Ahmad pointed out that Ghannouchi, for his part, stressed the need to overcome all conflicts and remove obstacles to strengthen Palestinian national unity and solve problems in order to keep the Palestinian people unified in the face of the occupation and defending Jerusalem.

On 12 October, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo to enable the government to run Gaza. Al-Ahmad also said that statements by US Vice President Mike Pence on the confirmation of his country's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel are a clear American declaration to abandon any role in the Middle East peace process.

Al-Ahmad said in an interview with Quds Press: "We were not surprised by such Zionist statements represented by Pence in the American administration, which confirms the total bias of the current American administration towards the Israeli position and the forces of the extreme right in Israel, whether about Jerusalem or about the Arab-Israeli conflict."

He added: "It is not strange to hear from Pence such an attitude today, as it is he who said in a previous speech: "The enemies of Israel are the enemies of America."

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Al-Ahmad stressed the Palestinians' attachment to Jerusalem as the capital of their state. "No force on earth will be able to take Jerusalem out of the hands of the Palestinian people and prevent them from having it as the eternal capital of their state," he said."America, through Zionist Christians and their most prominent figure, Pence, will not be able to change historical facts, and will not be able to change the identity of Jerusalem, either" he said.

Al-Ahmad stressed that "through such positions, America has removed itself from any possible role in the Middle East peace process."

He attributed this to the fact that the American administration has positioned itself as a party to the conflict which is totally biased towards Israel, and therefore will not be an honest broker unless it retracts Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian side is working to find an alternative within the framework of the international community and under the auspices of the United Nations,

he said.

"Even the international Quartet, which is dominated and failed by the United States, will not be accepted as a framework for America's participation, unless its composition and commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy are reviewed based on the two-state solution to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, the capital of a Palestinian State."

He added: "We do not fear the US threats to cut aid, for our rights are not for sale, and Jerusalem is of inestimable value".

It is noteworthy that the US Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech to the Israeli Knesset that "the US Embassy will be transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before the end of 2019."

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