Az Zahar: due to western meddling, internal Palestinian
dialogue at square one
July 5, 2008
Riyadh / PNN – Hamas leader and Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Az Zahar
said that the Palestinian dialogue has "returned to square one."
He told Saudi’s Al Watan that there is no dialogue now "because there
is no capacity among officials in Ramallah to hold a dialogue due to
the US and European veto."
Even the failure of the Palestinian Unity Government, which would
have in many minds ended the Fateh – Hamas split, could not work as
stated by most pundits because the United States refused to deal with
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya recently pointed out that the
European Union has Hamas on its "terrorist" list, as does the US.
Az Zahar said on Saturday that the Berlin conference also revealed
that there is an American and European veto to the internal
Palestinian dialogue. They are requiring that all factions recognize
the conditions of the Quartet. Hamas is just one of the parties that
say no. How could the Palestinian government function as one if there
were no split if the US and others have placed conditions upon it?
That was the problem in the first place when Hamas won the elections
and the US immediately imposed a blockade and openly threatened any
country that dealt with them, including facilitating bank transfers.
There will be no end to the Fateh - Hamas rift, no power sharing,
until the west gets out of the way and stops putting conditions on
the Palestinian and other governments. Members of the US
administration keep arriving and meeting with Abbas and Qureia, but
not with any Hamas officials. How can Hamas and the PA engage in
power sharing when only one is "allowed access" to the outside world?
Az Zahar holds the "western world" responsible for the absence of a
comprehensive internal Palestinian dialogue which President Abbas
asked for and all agreed to. Az Zahar accused the US and EU, in
general, of "openly interfering in issues affecting the essence of
the internal Palestinian position" for the sake of Israel.
As has been repeated time and again since the Fateh – Hamas split
because major just over a year ago and the Gaza Strip went to the
Hamas government and the West Bank went to the Palestinian Authority,
"the only winners are the occupiers." It is in Israel’s best interest
to keep Fateh and Hamas at odds. As several officials were quoted
this week as saying, "The internal discord has severely weakened our
At the Berlin conference for Palestinian security held last month 40
countries participated and pledged their support.