Politics, Middle East

Hamas eschews result of Palestine National Council meet

Palestinian National Council convened in Ramallah this week in absence of leading resistance groups

Anees Suheil Barghouti,Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg   | 04.05.2018
Hamas eschews result of Palestine National Council meet

RAMALLAH/GAZA, Palestine

Hamas on Friday dismissed the results of a meeting of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), which met this week in Ramallah after a 22-year hiatus.

“We don't recognize the results of this meeting, which don't reflect the will of our people and which lack any legal basis,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum tweeted.

He went on to say that Hamas, along with other Palestinian factions, would “work hard to protect the Palestinian national project from the fecklessness” of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Accusing Abbas of “thwarting” efforts to achieve Palestinian unity, Barhoum asserted that the Palestinian president had “drawn up an Executive Committee to do his will and accept any future [U.S.-backed] peace plan, including the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’”.

The term “Deal of the Century” refers to an alleged back-channel plan by the U.S. administration aimed at reaching a final settlement of the Middle East conflict.

Late Thursday, Abbas was re-elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s influential Executive Committee.

His re-election capped the four-day PNC congress, which was held at Palestinian presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

By a show of hands, congress participants also endorsed 15 of the Executive Committee’s 18 members, with the remaining three seats intended for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The PLO also confirmed Abbas as chairman of the Executive Committee, leading members of which include Saeb Erekat, Azzam al-Ahmad and Hanan Ashrawi.

Last Monday, the PNC’s 23rd congress kicked off in Ramallah -- its first congress in 22 years.

The four-day meeting was held in the absence of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP.

The three resistance groups all declined to take part in the congress, saying they did not want to attend an event held under Israeli occupation. (Since 1967, the West Bank has been occupied by Israel.)

A legislative body that theoretically represents Palestinians at home and in the diaspora, the PNC -- originally founded in 1948 -- last met in 1996.

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