Report: Abbas breaking promise to not court Hamas

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is seeking reconciliation with the Hamas terrorist organization and the reestablishment of a unity government, despite assurances earlier this month that he would do no such thing.

The London-based Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat reported on Wednesday that Hamas lawmakers had presented Abbas with a reconciliation proposal a day earlier, and that the Palestinian leader was viewing it positively.

According to the report, the proposal offered to return Palestinian institutions and security bases in the Gaza Strip to the control of Abbas' Fatah-dominated security force in return for reinstating the Hamas-led unity government and implementing reforms in the Palestinian power structure.

A Palestinian source in Ramallah said that if the proposal wins the backing of top Hamas leaders in Gaza and Damascus, Abbas will accept it.

Abbas was also reportedly negotiating a reconciliation with Hamas via an extremist Israeli-Arab parliamentarian.

The news flies in the face of assurances Abbas and his newly-appointed prime minister, Salaam Fayad gave to Israel and visiting US congressional leaders earlier in the month that they would not allow Hamas back into the government or seek reconciliation with the terror group. Both Israel and the US based their renewal of financial aid to Abbas' government on those assurances.

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