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Haniyeh: US conditions remain obstacle to unity

April 23, 2010 9:54 A.M. (Updated: April 24, 2010 5:23 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma'an – Egypt's refusal to re-open the unity file is based on stubborn American conditions which ultimately prevent Palestinian unity and weaken the national position, de facto government Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday.

The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is clinging to the US conditions, Haniyeh stated during an address to commemorate the death of poet and Muslim Brotherhood member Abdul Rahman Baroud, who was killed in early April.

Haniyeh's statements come as US Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell is set to arrive in the region, in what officials say will be his latest attempt to kickstart the peace process. Some analysts have said the trip could include some succinct ultimatums for Israeli behavior over the issue, though most remain skeptical.

"They are talking about the arrival of Mitchell to the region to activate the negotiations and we wonder what negotiations they talking about," Haniyeh said. He wondered how talks could go forward "while the occupation has issued three dangerous orders - the Judaization of Jerusalem, the deportation of Gaza residents from the West Bank, and the tunnel digging beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque - and continues to fulfill them." Optimism in Ramallah, Haniyeh said, only lends legitimacy to the occupation.

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