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Dahlan calls to integrate Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the PLO

Aug. 28, 2015 11:23 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2015 7:01 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Former Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan called Friday for integrating all Palestinian factions -- including Islamic Jihad and Hamas-- into the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

Dahlan told BBC Arabic that the "homeland is in danger, and the PLO is in danger.”

The Palestinian National Council -- responsible for deciding on PLO policies and electing officials for the PLO's primary executive body -- is set to meet for the first time in nearly 20 years next month in order to elect the new Executive Committee.

The move has raised criticism from Palestinian leaders across factions, some of whom argue that changes to the national institution are being carried out unilaterally by the Fatah party.

Dahlan added that he does not seek to become president but has a a right to run for presidency "if he wants."

The ex-leader and Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member also called to stop security coordination with Israel, and said he considers the Oslo Accords to be invalid.

Dahlan was once a leading figure in Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party and had headed Gaza's powerful security apparatus.

The leader fell from grace in June 2007 after the rout of his forces by Hamas in deadly week-long street battles which saw the movement expel Fatah from the coastal enclave.

After a bout of fighting within the Fatah movement, Dahlan was exiled to Abu Dhabi and later tried in absentia in 2014 on corruption charges.

Dahlan earlier this week alleged on his personal Facebook page that Abbas was destroying the last effective national institutions and removing mechanisms that hold the president and other leadership accountable.

Two legislatures, one meeting

On Thursday, Fatah central committee member Mohammad Shtayyah called on Hamas members of the PLC to participate in the upcoming PNC meeting.

The Hamas movement holds a majority of seats in the PLC but the body has not convened since divisions between Hamas and Fatah following Hamas' victory in PLC elections resulted in the separation of power between the two parties in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively in 2007.

The PLC's 132 members were elected by the Palestinian people in 1995 to effectively serve as the legislative body to the Palestinian Authority, the provisional government intended to incrementally transfer power from Israeli to Palestinian leadership through the Oslo Accords.

While the Palestinian Authority enacted a law in 1995 declaring that all members of the PLC would become members of the PNC, the law was reportedly repealed in 2005.

The new law instated at the time did not include information regarding the automatic membership of the PLC members in the PNC. The legality of participation by either Hamas or Islamic Jihad in the upcoming PNC meeting is unclear.

Earlier this month president Mahmoud Abbas announced his resignation as head of the PLO Executive Committee, and several others stepped down, in a move that many believe is paving the way for Abbas to step down from presidency.

The PNC meeting that will decide the fate of the PLO Executive Committee is set to be held on the 15 and 16 of September in Ramallah.
Comments
Tibi / Tubas
These Three (PLO, Hamas, IJ) will never integrate, because one would end up dominating the other two, who would reject being dominated !!
28/08/2015 23:36
Joe Fattal / USA
I guess Israel needs to hurry up and make a deal with Hamas with an offer they can't refuse.
29/08/2015 00:55
Olga / N.J.
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say...seriously. And I agree withbTibi. There is no chance for glory w/out a desire for unity.
30/08/2015 15:28
Tobias / USA
-1- The Prophet himself could Not convince either Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or the PLO to be the one to give up their weapons first. So,
-2- All Palestinian "integration" or "unity" will remain just words,
-3- Just as "Palestine" is more of a 9-letter word, than a real state !!
31/08/2015 03:20
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