Abbas Calls for Palestinian Unity

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - After nearly a year of publicly distancing himself from Hamas, Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Fatah head Mahmoud Abbas called for renewing dialogue between the two rival Palestinian factions.

In June 2007, Hamas wrested control of the Gaza Strip in a bloody military coup, which saw Fatah-affiliated men flung from the roofs of high rise buildings and shot dead in front of their families.

Shortly after the coup, Abbas dissolved the short-lived unity government, formed after the Saudi-initiated Mecca Accords.

After deposing Ismail Haniyeh from his post as PA prime minister, Abbas appointed Salam Fayyad in his place.

Initially, the PA president publicly denounced Hamas for rejecting the US-backed Road Map, which called for renouncing terrorism, accepting Israel's right to exist, and supporting previously signed agreements.

In time, Abbas softened his rhetoric toward Hamas, offering to renew dialogue once Haniyeh apologized for the military coup and relinquished control of the Gaza Strip.

On Wednesday, in a speech marking "the anniversary of the June 1967 aggression," the PA president called for "a national dialogue to implement the Yemini initiative [calling on Hamas and Fatah to reunite] to end the internal division that harms our people, [our] cause."

Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu was pleased with Abbas' call to reopen talks with Hamas.

"We welcome this call by President Abbas to launch a national dialogue, and we consider it a positive step," he said.

To this day, the Hamas charter rejects Israel's right to exist and embraces "armed resistance," a euphemism for suicide bombings and other acts of terror against Israelis.

Both Fatah and Hamas teach their citizens that soon, the Palestinian flag will replace Israel's flag from one end of the country to the other.

YNet news contributed to this article.

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Tzippe Barrow

Tzippe Barrow

CBN News - Jerusalem Bureau

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