Holding the Palestine National Council meeting “does not convey unity in a practical way”, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said today.
The PNC, he continued, “does not reflect the nation as a whole, but rather blatantly violates the unity of our people and the legitimacy of the organisation and questions its ability to represent our people.”
In a speech delivered today, Haniyeh said that “what [Palestinian Authority President] Abu Mazen is doing confirms the exclusion of the active forces in the Palestinian arena.” He pointed out that most of the active Palestinian forces and factions boycotted this council, hence reflecting the division.
“The real aim behind holding the conference reflects the poor plots which are made and that our people have rejected,” Haniyeh added.
He clarified that “the features of the deal and the conspiracy which are surrounding our Palestinian cause, having Jerusalem and the refugees as a centre of attention, are becoming clearer over time. These stress the urgent need for national unity in order to address the risks, because it is the only way to thwart these schemes.”
Haniyeh stressed the need to agree on a political programme and the formation of a national unity government, as well as preparing a unified council ready for the election process in accordance with the vision that reconsiders the PLO as the reference in the political system. “Therefore, and because this did not happen, Hamas will not only monitor the situation, but it will also react. The movement will have to take clear stands in order to maintain the cause, the constants of our people and its authentic representation through consultation with the different national sides. The movement will also reconsider its positions toward the organisation.”
Haniyeh called for holding immediate presidential and legislative elections, declaring his rejection of the outcomes of the Council, saying that “we will not recognize these and no one would.”
“We have provided all what we have been asked to do in order to achieve Palestinian consensus through Egyptian mediation.”
The senior Hamas official questioned the occupation’s leniency in providing PNC members with travel permit to attend today’s meeting, officials who have previously been denied the necessary paperwork previously.
Haniyeh urged “all those who dedicated themselves to national interest to work for the restoration of the PLO.”
“Either we cling to preserving the PLO as a home for all Palestinians, or let a party use it as a tool to fulfil his agendas.”