Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal agreed in the context of reconciliation with Fatah that resistance to Israel must be non-violent and a Palestinian state should be based on the1967 borders, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with the Euronews international television network.
Speaking in the interview aired Friday, Abbas said that Mashaal agreed to those two points, as well as to elections in May 2012 when the two met last month.
"We laid down the basis for an eventual agreement. Firstly, Hamas has come around on the following points: peace and calm must be established in Gaza as in the West Bank; resistance must be population-based and not with weapons — frankly, this was a point we agreed on; the solution is a state based on the 1967 borders — there again Hamas agreed."
Abbas said that the issues would be followed-up in meetings beginning in Cairo on Sunday. He stated that the meetings would have "an important focus on the PLO, which is to be on how all the Palestinian organizations are going to participate in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which has statutes and commitments; a movement that wants to join the PLO has to accept these engagements. That is what is going to be discussed on 18, 20 and 21 December in Cairo.”
If Mashaal agreed to adopt a non violent stance, then his decision juxtaposed with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's more belligerent comments at the 24th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist group in Gaza City last Wednesday.
There, addressing a crowd of thousands of revelers, Haniyeh called for the formation of an Arab army “to liberate Jerusalem and the Aksa Mosque very soon.”
Haniyeh said his movement remained committed to armed struggle as a strategic option to liberate “all the occupied Palestinian territories,” and that Hamas, “together with all the free peoples, will lead the fight to liberate all Palestine.”
Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah representatives are scheduled to hold talks in Cairo Sunday to discuss the implementation of the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement between the two parties.
The two sides will also discuss plans to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip next May.
Sunday’s meeting is designed to pave the way for a gathering of leaders of several Palestinian groups that support putting an end to the Hamas-Fatah power struggle.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.