Palestinians still divided as bid looms for UN recognition

 

Jerusalem

Rival Palestinian officials from Fatah and Hamas sparred publicly today over reports that the two sides were once again on the brink of signing a power-sharing agreement before a new bid for state recognition at the United Nations this month.

The two groups have been at loggerheads since 2007, when Hamas expelled Fatah from Gaza in a bloody coup, dividing Palestinian territory between the West Bank, ruled by Fatah, and the Gaza Strip, controlled by Hamas.

Salah Bardawil, a senior Hamas official, said on Wednesday that Hamas had submitted new proposals for reconciliation to Egyptian mediators in Cairo. Reports suggested that the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, might meet as early as next week with the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in the Egyptian capital to sign the deal. A previous agreement signed by the two in May 2011 was never implemented.

Rumours of a deal that would replace the government of Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister, with a cabinet of technocrats prompted Mr Fayyad to seek a public display of support. Mr Fayyad has said that he would stand aside if necessary to help the reconciliation process.

Nonetheless, Fatah officials said the Hamas announcement was a bluff. “We are not aware of any new proposals from Hamas,” said Dmitri Diliani, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council. “This is not the time for new ideas. It is time to act on the agreement already signed and give the people of Gaza the right to vote in elections that has been denied to them by Hamas.”

“We would prefer reconciliation before applying to the UN for recognition as a state but it is not a requirement and we will not allow the UN process to be a hostage to the internal politics of Hamas and their alliances with Iran and other parties,” he said.

Palestinian leaders say they are determined to upgrade their UN status from “observer” to “non-member state”, setting the stage for a diplomatic showdown that will pit the Palestinians, Arab states, the developing world and Europe against Israel and the US.

Palestinian envoys were dispatched to Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Finland this week to persuade those countries to vote in favour of the UN move.

“We are urging them to vote in favour of the Palestinian proposal,” said the Palestinian foreign affairs minister, Riad Malki. “We hope this will clarify the picture for those countries.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Development Manager

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Service and Installation Engineer

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: SEO / Outreach Executive

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a global marketin...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?