Middle east

The chief of Hamas in Beirut to meet Palestinian factions

The chief of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, comes to Beirut on Wednesday for a week-long visit, and he will meet Palestinian factions about the increased collaboration between their enemy Israel and Arab states.

This visit, which is the first to Lebanon for 27 years, comes after the announcement of August 13 when Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to normalize relations.

In the same context, Osama Hamdan, a superior representative of Hamas in Lebanon, indicated to the possibility of a gathering between Haniyeh and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. He said: It is natural for the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, to meet the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, during his current visit to Lebanon.

According to the Lebanese news agency NNA, Haniyeh assembled on Wednesday with the Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri and caretaker premier Hassan Diab.

The Islamist movement’s representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, said that he will assemble on Thursday with representatives of other Palestinian factions in rare discussions about how to respond to such accords and to a Middle East peace plan announced by Washington this year.

Indeed, the gathering at the Palestinian embassy in Beirut will come at the same time with talks in Ramallah between Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and representatives of Palestinian factions there.

Baraka informed AFP that the joint discussions of Thursday in Ramallah and Beirut try to develop a unified Palestinian strategy to confront normalization schemes… and to reject plans to annex the West Bank as well as (Trump’s) deal of the century.

A member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Ahmad Majdalani, said to AFP from Ramallah, the discussions also attempted to promote relations between the factions. He also related: They aim to open a new page, to end divisions, achieve national reconciliation and build a national partnership between all factions.

Moreover, the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon declared that a part of the gathering was carried out in Lebanon as most participating officials were living either in Beirut, Syria, or Ramallah. While Baraka explained the choice of Lebanon saying the country is a supporter of the Palestinian cause and has a large population of Palestinian refugees who would be adversely affected by US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East.

It should be noted that the last time that leaders of Palestinian factions took common discussions was in 2013 in Cairo. According to the plan of the US revealed this year, Israel would maintain control of the debated city of Jerusalem as its undivided capital and will join settlements and other areas in the occupied West Bank. Trump declared on August 13 a deal between the UAE and Israel to normalize relations. Under this deal, Israel has suspended annexation plans, but not forever abandoned.

So, the UAE became the third Arab country to accept to normalize relations with Israel after that Egypt signed a peace agreement in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday that there are many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders to normalize relations with the state of Israel.

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