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Fatah and Hamas officials announce unity deal
Mashaal, Abbas in rare telephone call
Published Monday 16/12/2013 (updated) 16/12/2013 20:12
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(MaanImages/file)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Hamas' leader-in-exile Khalid Mashaal telephoned Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in a rare telephone call between leaders of the rival Palestinian parties, official news agency Wafa said.

"Mashaal telephoned president Abbas to thank him for his efforts at different levels, particularly sending aid to the Gaza Strip," Wafa reported, referring to the support sent by the PA to Gaza as it recovers following the major winter storm in recent days.

Palestinian sources told Ma'an Monday that Abbas and Mashaal had a "warm" phone call which lasted more than ten minutes.

The sources confirmed that Mashaal thanked Abbas for his efforts and added that the two also talked about other issues.

President Abbas confirmed to Mashaal that he already planned "what he should say and what he should do" if the ongoing peace negotiations fail to meet the Palestinian demands by the scheduled time limit.

The president confirmed to Mashaal that the "sacred and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people" are a state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, Palestinian refugees' rights and the release of all Palestinian prisoners.

Abbas also asserted that any agreement reached with Israel should be approved by the Palestinian public in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through a referendum.

"Whatever agreement is reached, it will be put to referendum as nothing can be passed without the consent of the Palestinian people. If we don't obtain all our rights without abandoning a single right, we will have things to say and to do," Abbas told Mashaal.

Mashaal, for his part, confirmed to Abbas that "I have no fears … as I am confident you will defy all pressures and will never give up on any of the inalienable rights of our people. I respect and appreciate your firmness and be sure that I will back you."

The two main rival Palestinian parties have been on cold terms since 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.
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