Qatar News Agency (Editorial)
February 8, 2012 - 1:00am

The Doha Declaration signed between the two main Palestinian movements - Fatah and Hamas - should be considered as a “major triumph for Qatari diplomacy”, a number of Palestinian and Arab political experts said yesterday.

They said that that Qatari diplomacy’s “strenuous efforts” succeeded in bringing the Palestinian people back together. They expressed their thanks to Qatar, under the leadership of HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, for supporting Palestinian reconciliation.

Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA) yesterday, the Palestinian and Arab political experts said that the signing of the deal between Hamas and Fatah was the result of persistent efforts by Qatar’s leadership.

Mohamed Sobaih, Arab League’s secretary-general for the Palestinian and Arab Occupied Territories Affairs, welcomed the deal saying that it’s a significant step forward on the way for a Palestinian reconciliation.

Speaking exclusively to QNA, Sobaih praised Qatar for bringing the parties back to the negotiating table which resulted in the signing of the Doha Declaration.

He noted that the efforts for reconciliation had stalled after the accord was first signed in Cairo on May 4, until Qatar intervened to bring the reconciliation deal back on track.

He stressed, however, that the responsibility now falls on the Palestinian parties involved to put the Palestinian issue above all else.

Sobaih thanked Qatar for the role it played, saying that it aids the Arab League’s efforts in Palestinian reconciliation. He warned, however, that the next stage would be dangerous, adding that partition and division among the different Palestinian groups will be very harmful to the Palestinian issues.
He said unity is more essential than ever to face the dangers that threaten the peace process - the continuation of illegal settlements, displacement of Palestinians and the “illegal” blockade on Gaza.
Sobaih said that President Mahmoud Abbas will be keen to achieve a reconciliation, saying that the president has put in a lot of effort in the positive direction. He stressed that he will discuss the Doha Declaration with other Palestinian factions to give them a clear picture of what happened. He added that any solution under reconciliation is far better than separation and partition which he said only benefits Israel.

The head of the Fatah parliamentary block, Azzam al-Ahmed expressed thanks to the Qatari leadership, HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, for their “honest” effort for Palestinian reconciliation, which resulted in the signing of the Doha agreement.

Speaking to QNA, Azzam called on the Palestinian political movements involved to work together to eliminate all challenges facing reconciliation. He warned that the declaration will bring the Palestinian people under a lot of pressure from those who don’t want the unity deal. However, he maintained that the reconciliation deal must not be bargained with and called upon everyone to expect more aggression from Israel in the coming period, in a bid to end such a reconciliation deal.
For his part presidential spokesman Nabil Abo Rodina said that the Doha Declaration echoes the calls of the Palestinian people.

Abo Rodina called for the immediate implementation of the declaration so as not to waste any more time. He stressed that the Palestinian efforts will not end until they form an independent Palestinian state on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abo Rodian thanked HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for his efforts. He also thanked Egypt for its efforts.

Meanwhile, Palestine’s Ambassador in Doha, Monir Abdullah Ali Ghannam, said that the Palestinian people feel a sense of gratitude to Qatar and HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani for their efforts which resulted in the signing of the reconciliation deal, months after it was first announced in Cairo.

Ghannam said that the Palestinian people feel happy after the different Palestinian political movements were united under the reconciliation declaration signed in Doha.

He said that the deal will help the Palestinians stand firm against Israeli aggression. It will also help the Palestinian people achieve their dream of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, he added.

He described the signing of the declaration as a “Qatari-Palestinian celebration” that thrilled the Palestinian people and the Arab world.

Ghannam thanked Qatar’s leadership for their effort in realising the reconciliation deal and a reconciliation government.

Hamas spokesman Ismail al-Nono said that Ismail Haniya who had visited Qatar recently, has welcomed the Doha Declaration and stressed that the government and he himself, are ready to implement it. Al-Nono said that Hamas’ position has always been in favour of the reconciliation deal, ever since it was announced in Cairo on 4 May. The spokesman expressed the hope that measures to implement the reconciliation deal would be taken.


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