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Haniyeh accepts invite to Non-Aligned summit
Published Saturday 25/08/2012 (updated) 27/08/2012 10:08
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Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (MaanImages/Wissam Nassar, File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Hamas-run government in Gaza confirmed on Saturday that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh will attend the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Iran next week, after West Bank officials had slammed Tehran for deepening the rift between the two authorities.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday urged his counterpart in Gaza not to attend, after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited Haniyeh to join the summit of 120 non-aligned nations.

President Mahmoud Abbas was also invited to the meeting.

"This is a serious escalation by Iran against Palestinian unity and against the Palestinian Authority’s role as the guardian of the Palestinian people both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank including Jerusalem," Fayyad said.

"Unfortunately, this hostile Iranian position benefited from some recently-emerging trends dealing with Hamas as the representative of the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip. Followers of this trend claim they do not want to take sides when it comes to Palestinian parties, as if the PA was one of numerous sides rather than being an umbrella for all the Palestinian people and factions both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip," he added.

Fayyad called for Haniyeh to "give priority to his loyalty to Palestine and his patriotism over any other considerations."

The premier's position is that the Palestine Liberation Organization is legally the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and it has given the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority the task of governing Palestine.

Director of the PLO's politburo in Damascus Anwar Abdul-Hadi told Ma'an that among Palestinian officials only President Abbas was formally invited to participate in the summit, according to a source in the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

The PLO Executive Committee also issued a statement on Saturday, saying that Haniyeh's invitation shows "Iran has joined the goals of the Israeli band."

Despite different interests, both Iran and Israel aim to unsettle the political system and maintain the state of disagreement, with Iran encouraging Gaza's leaders by giving them legal recognition, the PLO statement continued.

For the Hamas-run Gaza government, the party's victory in the last Palestinian elections give its leaders a legitimate mandate for governing Palestine.

A year after the elections, in 2007, Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip as world censure of the movement and failing attempts to form a unity government with Fatah collapsed into inter-factional violence.

Despite efforts to reconcile the movements, they have ruled separate governments in the West Bank and Gaza ever since, both claiming sole legitimacy.

Confirming Haniyeh's attendance, Gaza government spokesman Taher Al-Nunu said called on all parties to respect the democratic choice of the Palestinian people, stressing that Haniyeh will participate as an elected prime minister.

Haniyeh's deputy Muhammad Awad urged the sides to "close ranks" and form a joint delegation representing Palestine.
1 ) Nour / 1-State
25/08/2012 16:51
While I am not a supporter of Hamas, Fayyad and Abbas' PLO and PA can go to hell. They do NOT represent me, or the Palestinians in diaspora. Even local Palestinians did not elect them, Abbas' mandate has expired in 2009. Unless the PLO reforms and democratizes, and gives ALL Palestinians the right to vote, including the refugees, they are beating a dead horse. PLO and its puppet authority are dinosaurs, relics of the 1960s.

2 ) No-Nour / No-State
25/08/2012 17:57
Three state solution comes to my mind after reading this article: Israel is state 1, Gaza goes back to Egypt where it belongs or stay independent and it is state 2 and West bank (areas A and B) goes back to Jordan where it belongs and Jordan is state 3. Everybody is happy!

3 ) al / Palestine
25/08/2012 18:07
The palestinian authority does not represent the Palestinian People. It is a corrupt gang of Thugs. They deny people the right of worship, shut mosques down, don't allow the reading of the Qura'an on Mosque speakers, jail religious and pious people. They have stolen billions of dollars. May Allah destroy the PLO, Fateh and those who support them

4 ) Nour / 1-State
25/08/2012 18:13
#2 Sorry, you seem to have missed the Levy Report. There is NO occupation. Only 1 state from River to Sea, and it is an apartheid system as of today. You will gradually exit and return to your countries of origin once democracy prevails. Don't let the door hit you in the bum.

5 ) Mel / USA
25/08/2012 19:03
Abbas spouts such Zio-script cr*p!If he had any 'unity'gonads,he'd go WITH Haniyeh on this 'non-aligned'trip in support of Palestinian national/Arab unity?Fact: "This is a serious escalation by" ZIONISM "against Palestinian unity and against" the actual fact that Hamas was democratically elected "as the guardian of the Palestinian people both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank including Jerusalem," whether you like it or not!Palestinians spoke,Abbas was paid well,not to listen.

6 ) Mahmoud / Palestine
25/08/2012 19:43
In every country there must be the rule of law, and rule of law (I'm sure many of those who commented before me) in Palestine mentions CLEARLY that the President can remove a Prime Minister, so Haniyeh has been removed since 2007. Until there are elections, the president remains the only legitimate person.

7 ) Mel / USA
25/08/2012 20:23
#6:Mahoud:Unfortunately,that depends on how one defines 'law',by whose 'rules',& how corrupted those 'rules' & 'laws' have become.If it's rule of ethical/moral law,which respects & adheres to INTERNATIONAL,common rule of law too,defending the majority &popular democracy against a corrupted elitist minority,then it's worthy of respect & must be held to the highest standard.Israel,as a rule,rewards lawlessness among its Arab/USG proxies coz "Zion" is paid to emulate USG exceptionalist autocracy.

8 ) Khaled / Palestine
25/08/2012 22:09
The NAM movement is about states and not parties. Hamas has recognized that the PLO, which is the government of the State of Palestine, is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Then accepting the Iranian invitation is betraying the international legitimacy that Palestine has gotten, and it is only because they don't care about our nation but the "Islamic ummah." And to "al", you are clearly not writing from Palestine, no mosque has been closed by the PA.

9 ) Amira / Canada
25/08/2012 22:49
Here is a good suggestion because of the circumstances:
"Haniyeh's deputy Muhammad Awad urged the sides to "close ranks" and form a joint delegation representing Palestine."

The normal and best solution:
The democratically elected government should rule over Gaza and West bank and represent all Palestinians. Abbas has been chosen by Israel and US and he is there for the sake of their interests.

10 ) Al / Palestine
26/08/2012 00:27
# 8, Palestinians living in the West Bank will definately tell you The PA did close Mosques on Eid for several years. People went to pray and found the Mosques closed in many places. They prevented many people from worshipping Allah. You know where they will end up. Lowest level of Hell

11 ) Bemused / New Zealand
26/08/2012 00:56
Please refresh my memory - did Abbas win the last democratic elections, or did Hamas? If, as #Khaled says, it is about the legitimate Head of State attending, then the answer is clear as to who should be attending. Secondly, if Abbas and his cronies have any real commitment to reconciliation, wouldn't they welcome the opportunity such a forum presents, to demonstrate to both Palestinians and the international community that they are capable of working with everyone to advance Palestinian issues?

12 ) Hoolio from / Mexico
26/08/2012 01:56
What does a nonstate actor want in a sovereign state gathering? Is he going as an observor? Is he going to "observe" how to establish the infra-structure required for statehood? A state has to be built on more than just "hate the jews".

13 ) southparkbear / usa
26/08/2012 04:20
Nour/1-stateless dreaming is very good. also dreams need not be real or accurate. for once you are allowed to mistakenly think earth while it's Mars

14 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
26/08/2012 07:21
Silly people - Iran doesn't care a bit about "Palestine" or "Palestinians". In the future, what Tehran wants to see is a new Iranian province called "Palestine" with the ayatollahs running Jerusalem. The ayatollahs will control Palestine. They will commit genocide and slaughtered all the Jews (as they keep promising), and they will turn you into Shiite slaves. And yes, #3, they will let you read the Qura'an in your mosque, but won't give you radiation treatment from the Tel Aviv explosion.

15 ) Dweikat / Palestine
26/08/2012 11:42
Nour is still barking like always...Come to Palestine instead of crying in the USA...and if the PA/PLO/HAMAS/FATAH etc are not the represented of you, who is??? @ 3)al/Palestine..You also go cry out by your masters in Iran..People like you only want chaos in a country...if they don't give you the right candy you hate him..It does'nt mather for people like you who is leader, you always will find something to say about him, its never good...The zionists are laughing and laughing and we are barking

16 ) Mahmoud / Palestine
26/08/2012 11:55
Mel: There is only 1 constitution, not 2 or 3. It's not up to anyone to decide their own set of laws, that is what Hamas did. The entire world recognizes the PLO as the official representative of the Palestinian people, and who is the head of the PLO? I think I've made my point. We don't have elections because Hamas refuses to hold any in Gaza, and according to the one and only law, elections must be held in the West Bank AND Gaza simultaneously. President Abbas made it clear he wants to leave.

17 ) Nour / 1-STATE
26/08/2012 17:34
#15 My representative will be elected by me and the rest of the Palestinian people - who are NOT sheep, and we refuse to be sheep. Until there is universal Palestinian elections, I represent myself thank you. You get to keep the PLO/PA thugs and your leaders, and tell me if your situation in the West Bank has improved since the 1980s? Improvement starts with honesty. You don't get to tell me to accept the corrupt Palestinian factions! We need to reform ourselves first.
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