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Left Groups Talking in Gaza

Sunday 28 October 2007

Senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in Gaza, Rabah Mhanna, revealed today that a four-way meeting was held yesterday between representatives of the PLFP, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

Mhanna said the meeting aimed at working out ways out of current political turmoil and discussing a possible common ground ahead of the next month’s Middle East conference, Washington is set to convene in Annapolis, Maryland, United States.

Mahanna stressed that the main obstacle, the Palestinians are facing at the political level is the underway division, internal violence has created over the past ten months.

According to an action plan, the participants discussed during the meeting, the PFLP confirmed rejection to the upcoming conference, as, according to the PFLP, an alternative internationally-sponsored convention is more acceptable, based on Palestine-relevant international resolutions.

Mhanna made clear that his group is planning to carry out a series of activities at the popular and political levels, to prevent the PLO’s leadership, of which PFLP is a member, from attending the said conference.

“ In case there will be any agreement that falls short of any of the Palestinian basic legitimate rights, the PFLP will have to uncover those who would have dared to sign”, Mahanna hinted, referring implicitly to Palestinian President and his negotiation team.

The local Palestinian leader warned also of possible repercussions of such a peace summit, asserting that his group wont side by either Hamas or Fatah, for he believed that the Palestinian arena bears no more division.

A Washington-sponsored conference on Middle East peace is scheduled for late November, with no specific agenda or list of invitees set so far. The U.S has yet to secure a Palestinian-Israeli agreement on core issues.

Palestinian President of Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiation team have been holding a series of talks with Israelis , in bid to agree on final status talks issues such as the problem of Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem and the borders of Palestinian state.

Israel rejects any joint declaration on such issues, while the deposed Hamas-dominated government in Gaza deems the Washington-sponsored summit ‘an attempt’ to undermine the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.

In 2000, Washington failed to bridge the gap between Palestinians and Israelis on two major issues; the refugees’ problem and status of Jerusalem, during the Camp David 2 peace summit. Such failure sparkled outbreak of underway Palestinian-Israeli violence and stalemate of the 1993’s Oslo peace process.