April 1, 2005.
Far from being enemies of peace and cold-blooded murderers of men, women
and children, PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas said the Hamas and Islamic Jihad
terrorist organizations were his brethren.
“We’re continually in contact with our brethren in the Jihad movement and the
Islamic resistance movement [Hamas], along with other [terror groups],” Abbas
told reporters Sunday following a meeting of the PLO’s executive committee in
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad were invited to attend the meeting. Hamas
declined, but Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed Al-Hindi was in attendance.
Over the past week, Abbas has increased efforts to convince Hamas and
Islamic Jihad to officially join the PLO in order to deflect pressure to dismantle
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords and Road Map peace plans, the PLO/PA is
obligated to disarm and dismantle all terrorist organizations operating out of
territories under its control.
Despite Hamas’s failure to participate in Sunday’s meeting, the group’s
Damascus-based leader, Khaled Mashal, said Wednesday he had come to an
understanding with Abbas.
In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al Aram, Mashal said he
and Abbas had struck a deal on the future control of the Gaza Strip following
Israel’s planned withdrawal, Israel Radio reported.
PA officials Tuesday confirmed a report that Abbas had agreed to consult
Hamas on the fate of abandoned Jewish settlements in Gaza.
Later that day, Hamas announced its tentative decision to officially join the
PLO, pending the resolution of differences with Abbas’s Fatah faction.