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PA snubs UN envoy over contact with Hamas

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah attends the opening of the new year study at Aqaba girl school, in the West Bank city of Tubas on 29 August, 2018 [Prime Minister Office/Apaimages]
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the West Bank city of Tubas on 29 August 2018 [Prime Minister Office/Apaimages]

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah refused to meet with the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov, following sharp disagreement over Mladenov's role in reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Israel.

The apparent snub is reported to have occurred when officials from the European Parliament attended a meeting with Hamdallah earlier this month. A top EU diplomat requested that the delegation bring Mladenov along to the meeting with the PA. However the request was denied.

Explaining its souring relations with the UN envoy, executive committee member of the PLO, Ahmad Majdalani, told Israeli sources that Mladenov had "stepped outside of his role, which is to work on the peace process, not making peace between Hamas and Israel."

"We will still work with other UN officials, but we will not meet with Mladenov or his office. The problem is specifically with him," Majdalani added.

Hamdallah: US is a partner in the occupation of Palestine

Majed Fityani, the secretary-general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, accused Majdalani of being a servant of the American administration. "He should not be intervening in internal affairs. It is not his right or mandate to interfere, but he puts his nose in everything," Fityani is reported to have said.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterresm however defended the Middle East envoy, saying he "fully supports" Mladenov's "tireless efforts".

Abbas is determined to isolate Hamas and gain control of the Gaza Strip. He has threatened that the group will "suffer the consequences" should it not fully handover the enclave.

Fearing marginalisation the PA has redoubled its efforts in light of negotiations for a Hamas-Israel ceasefire, which threaten to exclude the Fatah-led body from the picture. In July it declared that any aid being sent to the besieged Strip must pass through "the legitimate Palestinian ministries" in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank – the seat of the PA.

Hamas seeks ceasefire with Israel without 'political prices'

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