Secular Fatah and Islamic Hamas on Thursday pledged “unity” against the Israeli project to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, in a rare joint press conference between the two rival Palestinian parties.
“We are going to establish all the mechanisms to ensure national unity” against the Israeli project, said Fatah Secretary General Jibril Rajub at a press conference with Saleh al-Aruri, a Hamas official, who was speaking on video conference from Beirut .
“I claim that the position of the Hamas leadership is for national consensus. This joint press conference is also an opportunity to start a new stage at the service of our people in these dangerous moments ”, reinforced Aruri.
Fatah, a secular party in power in the West Bank, and Hamas, the Islamic movement that governs the Gaza Strip, have their backs turned since 2007, the year that Hamas took control of the Palestinian enclave to Fatah in a quasi-civil war, one year after the Islamic movement won the legislatures.
All attempts at reconciliation have since failed.
For Palestinian analyst Ghassan Khatib, the joint press conference is “significant in itself because it shows the importance of the annexation issue for Palestinians of different political tendencies”.
Hamas and Fatah consider treat yourself to a project “very dangerous” and “important enough to put aside their differences,” considers Khatib.
The Islamic movement had recently called for Palestinian “political class unity” in the face of the American plan for the Middle East, rejected by the Palestinians since it was presented in late January and also criticized by the UN, the European Union and the Arab League.
The United States plan foresees the annexation by Israel of settlements and the Jordan valley in the West Bank, territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state in a fragmented and reduced territory and without East Jerusalem for capital, a claim that has always been of the Palestinians.
The West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which are about 50 kilometers apart, would be connected by a corridor.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s government, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged in the spring to announce from July 1 its strategy to implement the Donald Trump administration’s plan, but the head of government continues to consult with northern officials. Americans and the project has revealed divisions in the executive and beyond.